Deutsche Bahn receives funding for 250 zero-emission buses


Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company, is on track to replace its fleet of diesel buses with electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles. The first new buses have been ordered and will complement the existing electric bus fleets in several states.

Funding of €56 mn just granted by the Federal Ministry of Digital Infrastructure and Transport (BMDV) will enable Deutsche Bahn to purchase over 250 electric or hydrogen-powered buses by mid-2025.

The procurement will be done through collaborations between regional DB bus companies, public transport authorities, and local districts. This move brings Deutsche Bahn’s bus division closer to its goal of completely replacing diesel buses by 2038.

Specifically, fleets in North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein, and Lower Saxony will benefit from the first batch of orders. Starting from the end of this year, new buses will be deployed in Bocholt, Münster, and Viersen in NRW as Deutsche Bahn slated up to 115 new buses for the state. In northern Germany, 149 new emission-free buses could be put into service, with the first electric buses set to operate in Schleswig-Holstein’s Ostholstein region by the end of 2023. Additionally, 14 hydrogen-powered buses have already been ordered. They will be deployed in the districts of Friesland and Leer in Lower Saxony and the Rendsburg-Eckernförde district in Schleswig-Holstein.

The BMDV funding will also facilitate the installation of 230 charging stations to support the expanded bus fleet. Approximately eleven million euros have been allocated for the infrastructure required.

While this is good news, this is not the first advance DB is making. The rail company in May last year announced it would modernise its bus fleets for around 400 million euros. From 2023 to 2026, the company will order about 1,200 new vehicles, however, including 900 diesel hybrids from MAN. Yet, DB Regio Bus plans to only purchase zero-emission vehicles from 2030 and phase out the last diesel-powered bus in 2038.

Other manufacturers Deutsche Bahn is working with include Ebusco and Caetano. The latter scored DB’s first order of hydrogen buses in February and is to deliver 60 H2.City Gold vehicles by 2026. These will go into operation in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

deutschebahn.com (in German)


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