Karl Holmeier, Member of Germany’s Parliamentary Traffic Committee and Member of the German Parliament, has confirmed plans for the extension of toll-free travel for heavy-duty trucks on motorways for Natural Gas powered commercial vehicles.
If the proposal is approved by the German Parliament and Federal Council as expected, Compressed and Liquefied Natural Gas (CNG and LNG) vehicles above 7.5 tonnes will be exempt from motorway tolls until 31st December 2023.
The extension will benefit road transport operators which run IVECO’s Natural Power heavy-duty trucks in their fleets, both on German and international routes, due to the country’s central position at the crossroads of the main European long-haul corridors.
The toll exemption will further reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of IVECO’s Natural Power trucks, increasing the financial advantages and improving the return on investment on these vehicles. Together with the expansion of the natural gas distribution network, this will boost the transition to this clean and significantly quieter technology.
Commenting on the extension of the initiative, Thomas Hilse, IVECO Brand President, stated: “We at IVECO welcome the news that the Germany Parliamentary Traffic Committee has put forward a new proposal for discussion in Parliament to extend the toll exemption for natural gas heavy-duty trucks. The final decision, expected in June, would mean a clear recognition of the environmental benefits of this technology on the path towards zero emissions. The infrastructure is growing, with an increasing number of new refuelling stations coming on stream, like the one that recently opened in Berlin Potsdam.
Trucks travelling on routes crossing Germany will not only have the financial benefit of the toll exemptions, but also the operational advantage of a well-developed infrastructure, which will be further extended in the short term as a result of the German Federal Government’s focus on natural gas as a key element of its strategy to achieve its Climate targets.
Beyond German borders, a further signal in favour of the adoption of natural gas technology in transport comes from Austria, which has introduced an exemption from the sectoral driving ban in the Tyrol. A change to taxation rules on natural gas have also come into force on 1st January 2020.