The German government pledges €6.6 billion ($7.9 billion) to boost commercial fleets’ uptake of electrified powertrains including retrofitting to replace diesel power units.
Specifically, the government will pay up to 80% of the additional investment costs of going electric compared to replacing vehicles with diesel equivalents.
The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure says the funding program will cover both the purchase of new zero-emission commercial vehicles in classes N1 (up to 3.5 metric tons), N2 (up to 12 metric tons) and N3 (more than 12 metric tons) and conversions to alternative drives in classes N2 and N3.
Support is also provided for the expansion of the charging infrastructure required for battery-electric vehicles in conjunction with vehicle purchase or conversion, also at 80% of the expenditure. Feasibility studies on the possible use of commercial vehicles with alternative drives are supported with up to 50% of the project-related costs.
Benefactors of the move are conversion companies such as Germany’s Quantron AG, which offers both new EVs and conversions of existing vehicles. The e-mobility specialist’s offering covers vans, trucks and waste-disposal vehicles from several manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, IVECO, MAN and DAF.