The government of Hungary wants to replace half of the fossil-fuel-powered buses in the country’s largest cities with electric ones within the next ten years. While the Green Bus Programme comes as an order, help is also on the way.
The now official government decree was announced by Hungary’s minister of innovation and technology, László Palkovics. The Green Bus Programme will apply to all Hungarian cities with more than 25,000 inhabitants. These municipalities will only be permitted to purchase electric buses as the country aims to replace 50% of conventional buses in its largest cities by low carbon ones within the next ten years.
In turn, the state government plans to provide co-financing for the purchase of the electric buses with a total of 36 billion forints (EUR 104m). The minister also suggested that the federal co-payment could exceed the originally planned 20 per cent of the price.
Green Bus may also boost domestic bus making, Palkovics said, adding that eight companies have already bid to participate, according to a report in the local news source Hungary Today. One of these companies could be BYD – the Chinese manufacturer runs a plant in Komárom that also supplies the domestic market. As reported, BYD recently delivered ten electric buses to the public transport operator Tüke Busz in the city of Pécs.
Already the Green Bus scheme is beginning with pilot projects being launched in the Hungarian areas of Debrecen, Kaposvár, Kecskemét, Békéscsaba, Székesfehérvár, Esztergom, Zalaegerszeg, Nyíregyháza and the Mátra power plant area, with each receiving 800 million forints (about EUR 2.2m) to buy electric buses, according to local media.