Zero emissions trucks, electric and hydrogen, will get at least a 50 percent discount on tolls by April 2023, under the legislation agreed by governments and members of the European Parliament. The international platform Transport & Environment (T&E) commented that «the new Eurovignette law will speed up the transition to zero-emissions freight and help clean up the air we breathe».
«Making the polluter pay is a watershed for green freight»
According to T&E, annual tolling costs can reach up to €25,000 per truck, or one-quarter of the total cost of owning and running the vehicle. James Nix, freight policy manager at T&E, said: «Making the polluter pay is a watershed for green freight. Fossil-fuel trucks will have to pay more if they emit more, and hauliers who switch to emissions-free vehicles will slash their costs. The incentive to cut air pollution from heavy-goods vehicles will be particularly felt in our choked cities».
Discount on tolls for zero emissions trucks
EU countries can even give discounts of up to 100 percent for zero-emissions lorries, as is already the case in Germany, until the end of 2025. After 2025, countries can offer discounts of between 50 percent and 75 percent, as is already the case in Austria.
Air pollution charges for trucks must be applied where distance-based tolling is used. Today only four member states charge trucks for their air pollutants. T&E said making air pollution charges mandatory is a comprehensive victory for the long-standing aim to recover costs from activity that damages human health and the environment.
Countries with toll roads under concession contracts can exempt these tolls from both CO2 and air pollution based-charging, but only until these contracts are renewed or substantially amended.