With the introduction of a CO2-dependent truck toll, many European countries have increased the motorway rates.
First of all Germany, where the CO2 toll addition law has been implemented since 1st December 2023, increasing the costs of the road tax for commercial vehicles. This increase aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting alternative fuels, but implies a significant rise in prices for the transport sector adding the CO2 toll component that will for the first time adjusts toll rates based on vehicle CO2 emissions. This CO2 fee will modify the toll landscape, impacting both large and small hauliers and logistics service providers. In Germany, commercial vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tons are toll obligated. From 1 July 2024, the payment obligation will also include smaller trucks from 3.5 tons and up. The CO2 toll is heaviest on the emission classes Euro 0 to Euro IV: these are considered the least environmentally friendly vehicles and highest contributors to external costs. However, even Euro V trucks will have to pay a significant fee, as well as all the Euro VI vehicles with a date of first registration before July 2019 and a lot of Euro VI vehicles registered after July 2019. The most modern diesels can enjoy a discount between 5% and 8% depending on the type of roadways. Emission-free vehicles will remain exempt from tolls until 31st of December 2025 and then they will pay a toll rate reduced by 75% for the costs of the infrastructure plus the toll components for air pollution and noise pollution.
In addition to Germany, starting from 1st January, Austria has also increased the payment for industrial vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, adopting the new community system which includes CO2 emissions.
Hungary has also already introduced the new toll fees with the related cost increase for heavy vehicles. There is no provision for dividing diesel vehicles into emission classes, as happens in Germany. Hungary has in fact decided to set the same emissions tariffs for all diesel trucks, regardless of whether they belong to the Euro 0 or Euro VI category.
Other European countries have also already introduced or are evaluating the introduction of tax rate for CO2 emissions by March 2024, the deadline set by the European Commission to adapt to new regulations.