The European Commission said Monday that German plans to support the purchase of electric buses and related recharging infrastructure by public transport operators to be in line with EU state aid rules.

According to the Commission, the measure contributes to reducing CO2 emissions while limiting distortions of competition.

The scheme set up by Germany with a budget of €70 million will support public transport operators until the end of 2021, covering the additional costs for the acquisition of electric and plug-in-hybrid buses rather than conventional diesel buses; and the construction of the related electric charging infrastructure required for the operation of these buses.

The Commission said the EC has taken into consideration that it incentivises bus operators to invest in this type of vehicle and in the necessary charging infrastructure. The measure is also in line with the European Strategy for low-emission mobility, and its support for the move towards zero-emission vehicles in cities and for creating a market for such vehicles.

“This scheme is another positive example of how to fight global warming,” Competition Policy Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, adding that in line with the EU’s environmental goals, it will give public transport operators an incentive to invest in low or zero-emission vehicles with the clear objective of reducing CO2 emissions and improving air quality.