Three years after first being asked, EU governments have again delayed a greener road tolling system for trucks that would promote more fuel efficient and zero-emissions lorries. National officials today failed to reach a position on reform of the Eurovignette law to charge new trucks based on their CO2 emissions.
Currently a country cannot base road tolls on a truck’s CO2 emissions. The European Commission proposed differentiated charges to encourage cleaner, more efficient heavy-goods vehicles in June 2017. A year later, the European Parliament also decided its position, making the European Commission proposal even more environmentally friendly. But while EU governments have debated important improvements to the proposal, they have still not reached a common position that would allow negotiations with the Parliament to begin.
James Nix, freight manager at T&E, said: “It delays yet again the start of the Green Deal for trucking. Governments missed the chance to increase investment certainty for truckmakers investing in fuel efficiency and zero-emissions technologies, and for hauliers buying cleaner trucks. It’s a setback for climate action in trucking that must be put right in September. Germany, which is Europe’s largest truck market, has a great responsibility to drive this forward under its EU presidency.”
Governments will only discuss greener truck tolls again when transport ministers meet in September. Already they have discussed improvements to the proposal including allowing toll exemptions for zero emission trucks – electric and hydrogen – until 2026. They were also close to agreeing a very progressive system of CO2-based charging that fairly matches the reduced toll to the cut in CO2 achieved by the new truck or large van.