With the introduction of the truck toll on federal motorways in 2005, the system change from tax to user financing of federal trunk roads began. Currently, commercial vehicles with a permissible total weight of over 7.5 tonnes are subject to tolls on all federal highways. Toll rates are differentiated according to exhaust gas and weight classes. The Federal Highway Toll Act distinguishes between partial toll rates for infrastructure, air pollution and noise pollution costs.
After deduction of the costs for collection, monitoring and toll harmonisation, the revenue from the truck toll is used exclusively for the federal trunk roads. For the year 2019 and subsequent years, the Federal Government expects an annual toll revenue of 7.2 billion euros. This level corresponds approximately to the planned investment volume in Germany’s trunk roads, and the truck toll thus makes an important contribution to financing the road infrastructure.
The Federal Highway Toll Act provides for toll exemption for electric commercial vehicles. Natural gas vehicles are also exempt from tolls until the end of 2020. The VDIK demands a continuation of toll exemption for natural gas trucks beyond 2020 or at least a noticeable reduction.
A new European directive (Eurovignette Directive) on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road vehicles is expected by the end of 2019 to promote the contribution of the transport sector to reducing CO2 emissions. For example, a charging of congestion costs and CO2 differentiation are under discussion, as is a reduction in the minimum rates for motor vehicle tax and the elimination of the distinction between EURO classes.