Campaign Freight
  • Electronic Kilometre Charging for Heavy Goods Vehicles in Europe (revised) (T&E 99/06)

    The rapid expansion of especially international freight transport has given rise to environmental problems (CO2, NOx, PM10, noise), and international political problems from unpaid road damage from transit transport. These problems have led to alpine transit restrictions and a system of fixed user charges known as the Eurovignette.

    Key conclusions:

    1. A km charge, differentiated for vehicle weight and environmental impact, is a prerequisite for being able to link user charges closely to underlying costs. This is particularly important where heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are concerned. This was also recognised by the European Commission in its White Paper on Fair Payment for Infrastructure
    2. The km charge should cover the total road network (not only motorways) to be cost- This is also means the km charge can reduce administrative costs by replacingthe annual vehicle tax.
    3. The km charge should be set at levels considerably above the current vehicle taxes and theEurovignette to reflect true costs and have any chance of influencing
    4. The km charge makes it possible to allocate revenues strictly according to the principle of
    5. The km charge can coexist with road tolls and urban road pricing (or replace them).
    6. It is neither necessary (nor wise) to harmonise charge levels, but there is an urgent need for technical harmonisation. The new EU Directive on user charges has already taken care of the necessary classification of HGVs according to vehicle weight and environmental While waiting for technical harmonisation, pioneering countries should strive tomake their systems interoperable.
    7. The km charge regime should in the longer term be extended to cars and HGVs below 12 tonnes. This would make it possible to allow the km charge to substitute part of the fuel tax and thus enforce a common fuel tax on all users (based on the fuel’s carbon content). Thiswould remove the risk of fraud associated with “purple diesel”.
    8. To avoid intruding on privacy, the km charge for cars should not be geographically It should be enough to register border crossings.