Launch of the Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB)
A fund to encourage individual companies, operators or partnerships of organisations to finance zero-emission buses in Scotland is now open.
Driven by its desire to decarbonise Scotland’s bus fleet, the Scottish Government has launched the first phase of its new Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB).
The Fund is designed to encourage the market to agree and implement new and innovative ways to finance zero emission buses (ZEBs). The aim is to help drive a green recovery, responding to the global climate emergency and to improve air quality.
Grants will be awarded for the acquisition of ZEBs running registered bus services in Scotland. The grants will go towards the capital cost of the buses and the associated infrastructure.
The programme has a total budget of £50 million available in 2021. A larger pot of funding is expected to be offered in 2022, should the programme be deemed successful. The subsidy provided per bus will be no more than the cost difference between the ZEB and its diesel equivalent and no more than:
- £80,000 for a ZEB with at least 9 passenger seats and at least one wheelchair accessible space.
- £140,000 for a ZEB with a total capacity for 32 or more passengers.
- £180,000 for a battery-electric ZEB with at least 45 seats and a maximum theoretical range of at least 310 km.
- £180,000 for battery-electric ZEB with a total capacity for 60 or more passengers.
- £230,000 for a hydrogen fuel-cell ZEB with at least 45 seats and a maximum theoretical range of at least 310 km.
- £230,000 for a hydrogen fuel-cell ZEB with a total capacity for 60 or more passengers.
- 75% of the capital costs for electric charging infrastructure.
- 85% of the capital costs for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.
Any party acquiring buses to run on registered local bus services can participate in this challenge. Multiple companies under the same ownership/parent group will be considered as one company, although they may submit separate bids. Partnership bids are strongly encouraged. Regional Transport Partnerships (RTP) may bid, or coordinate a bid from the areas they cover. Local authorities may still apply as a separate entity, even where the relevant RTP is bidding.
The closing date for Phase 1 applications is 4 November 2021 (24:00 GMT).
(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)