• Tolling: the highway to green trucking

    Cheaper tolls for cleaner trucks will help decarbonise the sector

    Focusing on trucks, T&E’s briefing sets out what member states need to do to implement the reform of EU toll law – and by when.

    Truck tolls must be varied for CO2 emissions in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia by March 2024. Denmark, Lithuania and the Netherlands will soon revise their road charging systems for trucks, and will need to vary tolls for CO2 as part of these reforms.

    Member states with pre-existing concession contracts with private toll road operators, such as France and Italy, can defer varying truck tolls by CO2 until these contracts are renewed or substantially amended. To ensure a timely transition in these countries, T&E advocates a more pro-active approach, e.g. concessionaires reduce tolls for cleaner trucks, offset by increases for trucks that emit more, in co-operation with national authorities.

    Charging trucks by time (e.g. per week/day) rather than distance does not apply the user/polluter pays principle in a proportionate way. The briefing shows that time-based vignettes are steadily being replaced by distance-based tolls, and the application of the directive’s reforms will support this shift.