“Greener buses have already proven their worth on urban routes by today. With the opened grant, we will continue this direction, and with more electric buses, cities are able to offer better public transport. In addition to emission-free transport, the new buses will enable analysis of their consumption and charging data, with which it is possible to develop electric transport more smartly. In the long term, we are transitioning the whole public transport on county routes to renewable energy by 2030. The grant that was opened today is one step towards this,” said the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, Taavi Aas.
“Estonia has set the goal of raising renewable energy use in the transportation sector to 14% by the year 2030. Public transport has an important role to play in this, and since the EIC has experience in supporting both biomethane filling stations and buses, as well as electric cars, then it makes perfect sense for us, as advocates of environmental and climate funding, to help the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications implement this grant,” said the CEO of EIC, Andrus Treier.
Kristjan Kalda, Project Coordinator at EIC, comments that the adopting of electric buses is supported by environmental, societal and technological aspects. “Of course, electric buses help to reduce air pollution in cities, but they are also quiet and the noise level also drops upon their adoption. Vibration in the interior of the bus is also reduced,” said Kalda, listing the useful aspects of electric buses.
Kalda added that electric transport helps to reduce the import of fuels and to increase the consumption of locally produced energy. “The whole energy system will become more flexible, since it will be possible to feed electricity back to the grid from bus and car batteries in the future,” said Kalda.
Aid can be requested for projects where at least eight low-floor buses are purchased to serve urban routes, with which they must transport passengers for at least five years, and the average mileage must be at least 40,000 kilometres per year. The purchase and construction of charging infrastructure, and data analysis are also eligible for the grant. The latter is required to collect and analyse information obtained in the operation of electric buses in comparison to diesel and gas buses.
The budget of the round is four million euros, and the grant rate is up to 50%. Local governments, public transport centres, or other competent authorities, as well as carriers providing services on urban routes for the purposes of the Public Transport Act, are eligible to apply for the grant.
The briefing for the application round will be held online on 17 February at 14:00. Application takes place via the e-support environment until 10 May 2021. Further information about the application conditions, and the opportunity to register for the briefing can be found on the EIC website.
The grant funds originate from funds from the emission allowance trading system, and the grant was developed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.