The new rates will include the cost of traffic-based air and noise pollution.
The introduction of the new toll rate schedule, adopted by the Bundestag on 2nd November, was approved by the Federal Council (Bundesrat) on 23rd November.
Electric trucks are exempt from the toll. Following the polluter-pays-principle, the new rate schedule divides vehicles into categories not only depending on the number of axles but also taking into account vehicle mass. The rates for lighter trucks with a maximum authorized weight of 7.5 to 18 tonnes will be lower, which will certainly benefit small businesses.
Natural gas-powered trucks are exempt from the toll until 2020, as are agricultural and forestry vehicles with a maximum design speed of up to 40 km/h. This exception was introduced at the request of the Bundesrat presented in its official assessment of the government’s original proposal.
In 2019-2022, the Federal Ministry of Transport expects the toll revenues to reach almost 4.2 billion EUR, which will be used to improve the road infrastructure. This is 2.5 billion more than the amount collected so far.
On July 1, 2018, the toll, until then only charged on motorways and on approximately 2,300 km of federal roads, was extended to cover the entire federal road network with a total length of 39,000 km.
The new law is still awaiting the signature of the federal president and after its publication in the Federal Journal of Laws, it will come into force from January 1, 2019. The law also imposes new obligations on drivers regarding the scope of information they need to provide in their on-board units.