On 1 December 2023, the truck toll increases introduced by the Bundesrat, the legislative body of the Federal Republic of Germany, will come into force in Germany. The new tariffs will depend on the CO2 emission class of the industrial vehicles and is intended to be an incentive for transporters to replace their fleet in favor of zero-emission vehicles, which will initially be exempt from motorway tolls and which will then pay significantly reduced amounts. Until 1 July 2024 the new law will only concern vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes, then vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes will also be affected. The German government expects these changes to bring in revenue of 30.5 billion euros over the period 2024-2027, earmarked for infrastructure development, including railways and waterways.
The reform has already been widely criticized by German hauliers, according to whom the increases will end up burdening consumers once again. The German association BGL, which deals with road haulage and logistics, declared in a statement that 85% of goods in Germany, including many everyday goods but also food, travel on trucks and that the new tariffs do not they would be nothing more than a hidden tax increase intended to hit families. The note also specifies that rail transport would not be a viable alternative given the infrastructural deficiencies and considering that the last mile must necessarily be managed by road.
And while the debate continues, Austria is also preparing to change its toll regulations. The new tariffs are not yet known, but an online calculator for vehicle CO2 emissions is already available. Unlike Germany, however, Austrian authorities plan to gradually increase tolls over the period 2024-2026.