European Union transport ministers have agreed to a new tolling system that will give truckers a price break of at least 50% if they use emissions-free vehicles.
Under the new pricing system adopted earlier this week, “fossil fuel trucks will be charged based on their CO2 emissions, with more efficient heavy-goods vehicles paying less,” Brussels-based Transport & Environment reports. “If agreed by the EU parliament, the new Eurovignette law will speed up the transition to zero-emissions freight and help alleviate air pollution in cities.”
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“This is a breakthrough for green truck tolling,” said T&E freight manager James Nix. “Heavy-goods vehicles will have to pay more if they emit more, and hauliers who invest in emissions free trucks will see their costs tumble.”
Nix urged parliamentarians to extend the new system to cover noise and air pollution, and base it on the polluter pays principle.
Based on the discussion so far, T&E says toll discounts of at least 50% for electric and hydrogen-powered trucks would take effect in April 2023, with countries permitted to increase the saving to 100% for zero-emission trucks through the end of 2025. After that, the maximum will fall to 75%.
The new rules would take effect on a continent where trucks account for 23% of transport emissions, and tolls can run as high as €25,000 per vehicle, or about one-quarter of the cost of ownership. “With regional delivery electric trucks becoming increasingly available,” T&E writes, “the toll discounts will help speed up the transition to e-mobility by slashing the costs of hauliers who buy them.”