The Bundestag has approved the addition of a CO2 component in the German road charging, set to effect from 01 December 2023. The new toll system will affect vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes, with varying toll rates depending on CO2 emissions.
The new regulation, which will come into force in December, passed a vote in the German parliament despite criticism from the industry. The new tolls now include a CO2 surcharge of €200 per tonne of CO2, in addition to the existing toll rates for vehicles weighing over 7.5 tonnes. For example, a heavy commercial vehicle in the EURO VI emission class will have to pay an additional 6.3 euro cents per kilometer, while older Euro 1 vehicles will be hit with an extra 15.8 cents per km.Vehicles weighing between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes, will come into scope from 01 July 2024.Zero-emission trucks will also be completely exempt from tolls until the end of 2025.
As well as the changes to tolling based on carbon dioxide emissions, the German authorities have also made an amendment to the scope. Gross vehicle weight as the means of allocating the weight class is being replaced by the technically permissible total mass (TPMLM) which means vehicles could fall into a higher weight class or now come into the scope of toll charges.
The German government expects additional revenue from the tolls, estimating €26.61 billion between 2024 and 2027 due to CO2 differentiation for vehicles weighing 7.5 tonnes or more. An additional €4 billion is expected from extending the toll to vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, with €1.83 billion attributed to CO2 differentiation.
The revenue generated from tolls will be allocated to improving the transport infrastructure for federal highways and measures in the rail network. This reform aims to set a price signal to encourage the use of trucks with alternative drives and achieve the goal of a third of electric mileage by 2030.