December 20, 2020. The National Council has made a pioneering decision in favor of Swiss freight transport in order to promote low-emission commercial vehicles such as biogas trucks. In the future, the use of this renewable fuel will benefit from a reduction in the distance-related heavy vehicle fee (HVF).
Transportation companies have to have a sharp pencil every day. They try to optimize not only constant routes or travel times, but also operating costs. The HVF is a pricing point for transportation services in this country. The performance-based HGV tax is a federal tax that depends on the total weight, the level of emissions and the kilometers traveled in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Currently, only electrically powered trucks have benefited from an HVF exemption. With the motion now adopted by the National Council, which was presented in 2019 by the Transport and Telecommunications Commission of the Council of States, the authorities have to regularly adapt the laws and regulations in the field of commercial vehicles to new technological developments. As a result, other commercial vehicles with alternative powertrains should benefit from a reduction in this rate.
In the future, a partial exemption will be deducted for trucks that run on renewable gas. As soon as the motion implementation proposal is available, it will show how high the exact reduction will be. But it is already clear that the use of biomethane and liquefied biogas (LBG) will pay off for logistics companies. The environment also benefits: last year, the Federal Statistical Office assumed a transport performance of 17.8 billion ton-kilometers in Swiss freight traffic. If some of these are completed with biogas or LBG units as soon as possible, considerable amounts of CO2 can be saved. Several local logistics companies are already renovating their vehicle fleets and are using renewable gas to reduce greenhouse gases.