May 5, 2020. The Transport Committee of the German Bundestag recommended extending the exemption from motorway tolls for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks that has been in effect from 2019 until December 31 of 2023. Thus, the discussion on the amendment of the Federal Highway Toll Law has taken a decisive course. The Bundestag and Bundesrat will vote on the resolution recommended by the committee in the coming weeks.
For its part, the German environmental agency (Dena) published a note at the end of April in which it requested the extension to the federal government, considering that it is an important measure in favor of the sector to promote the acceleration of the alternative fuel truck market, as well as to reassure players who invest in the deployment of service stations.
The toll exemption for trucks running on natural gas was introduced in Germany in early 2019 for a period of two years. While in theory it should stop by the end of 2020, various industry players are calling for it to spread.
In Germany, this exemption is added to a national plan to help buy units. Created at the end of 2018, it offers a subsidy of up to 12,000 euros per truck. “Since the entry into force of these instruments, 1,421 applications for LNG trucks and more than 430 for CNG vehicles have been registered,” the Dena report details.
“Currently, CNG and, in particular, LNG trucks are the only alternatives to diesel in heavy long-distance transport,” underlines the note that recalls the advantages of gas in terms of greenhouse gases.
Compared to diesel, CNG reduces CO2 emissions and even reaches 90% less when using biogas. “Adding 20% renewable methane is already reducing GHG emissions by approximately 35% compared to a conventional diesel truck,” reports the German environmental agency.