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Commission approves €431 million public support for cleaner transport in German cities

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Christian Fernsby |
German street
European economies   The measure should contribute to reducing nitrogen oxides emissions

The European Commission has found German plans to support the retrofitting of municipal and commercial diesel vehicles to be in line with EU State aid rules.

The measure should contribute to reducing nitrogen oxides emissions 1,450 tonnes per year, while limiting distortions of competition.

The three support schemes that Germany intends to set up, with an overall budget of around €431 million, will support the retrofitting of municipal and commercial vehicles (such as cleaning vehicles, garbage trucks and delivery vehicles) equipped with diesel engines.

The public support will be available in over 60 municipalities (German Kommunen) where national limits for nitrogen oxides (NO_x) emissions were exceeded in 2017, and will cover the costs of both the retrofitting systems and their installation.

The measures are part of the German Federal Government's "Immediate Clean Air Programme for 2017-2020" (Sofortprogramm Saubere Luft 2017-2020), which aims to reduce nitrogen oxides emissions as quickly as possible.

The retrofitting will concern a large number of vehicles - in the German municipalities that will benefit from the schemes, there are currently over one million heavy and light municipal and commercial vehicles equipped with diesel engines.

The planned support for the retrofitting is expected to lead to substantial reductions of nitrogen oxides emissions in a very short period of time, improving air quality and public health, in particular in cities.

The measures are also in line with the Commission's 2018 Communication on A Europe that protects: Clean air for all which states that, under EU State aid rules, Member States may facilitate investments in low and zero emission mobility for the benefit of clean air, while promoting the competitiveness of our industry.

Member States can make use of these rules at national, regional or local level to effectively tackle emissions, for example from road transport.

On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU State aid rules, because they contribute to EU environmental goals without unduly distorting competition.


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