Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme

The Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme (SULEBS) builds on the eight rounds of the Scottish Green Bus Fund, held each year between 2011 and 2018.  The new fund will increase the level of environmental protection, improve air quality, and support the acceleration of uptake of the lowest emitting bus technology in support of emissions targets.

We are currently awaiting approval from the European Commission of our State aid notification for SULEBS. Further detail of SULEBS is contained in the guidance document.

In the interim we are offering a rapid funding round for the purchase of ultra-low and zero emission buses, and/or supporting infrastructure through the European Commission General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER).

A Rapid SULEBS ran between 13 February and 27 February 2020. No further applications will now be accepted.

The bidding period for Rapid SULEBS is open from Thursday 13 February 2020 to midnight Thursday 27 February 2020, to assist with the purchase of eligible buses and infrastructure. Rapid SULEBS will be run under European Commission State aid General Block Exemption Rules (GBER).

The maximum aid intensity allowed shall not exceed 40% of the eligible costs. However, the final aid intensity allowed will depend on whether the applicant is a Large, Small or Medium Sized Enterprise, as defined by the European Commission, or if investments are located in assisted areas.  Further details on this are contained in the Rapid SULEBS guidance.

This aid intensity is less than what is intended to be offered under the full SULEBS.

Any operator applying for assistance through Rapid SULEBS under GBER cannot then apply for assistance for the same buses and/or infrastructure under the full SULEBS intended for launch, subject to state aid approval, later in 2020-21.

Funding

  • Rapid SULEBS will operate as a challenge fund with a maximum budget of £3 million in the financial year 2020-21.
  • Grants will be offered to successful bidders for the price differential between an ultra-low or zero emission bus and its diesel equivalent, or to assist with  supporting infrastructure to operate these buses.
  • All payments are subject to GBER State aid rules.

Who Can Apply?

Bids are invited from:

  • Bus Operators
  • Local Authorities (LAs)
  • Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs)
  • Companies leasing/renting eligible buses to the above bodies in Scotland

Process – Key Dates

  • Bidders will have between Thursday 13 February 2020 and midnight Sunday 27 February 2020 to put together bids with bus manufacturers
  • The Rapid SULEBS Guidance details how the fund will operate and should be read carefully before submitting a bid.
  • Applicants must complete the application form (Annex A), the supporting table (Annex B), and submit the relevant evidence as requested. Guidance for the completion of the application form is also available in Application Guidance (Annex C)
  • Successful applicants will be announced w/c 23 March 2020.
  • Rapid SULEBS Grants will only be paid on bus manufacturers’ confirmation of orders placed prior to the end of the application period as noted.
  • We suggest LAs and RTPs consider initiating any tendering exercises for proposed vehicles at the same time as preparing their bid. They will then be best placed to proceed should their bid be successful.

Please note there will be a further round of funding in 2020-21 under the full SULEBS scheme subject to approval of its state aid notification.

All applications and queries should be submitted to SULEBS@transport.gov.scot