European Parliament is encouraging countries to reduce tolls for electric vehicles. It is being adopted by some countries in Europe already and the parliament is pushing for it. The legislative body recently updated the rules regarding the member states’ charges on vehicles that use Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) roads.
The aim of the new rules is to shift road charging from a time-based model to a distance-based or kilometers-driven system, to better reflect the polluter-pays and user-pays principles. Member states will generally phase out time-based vignettes for heavy-duty vehicles (trucks and buses) across the TEN-T network within eight years, and start applying distance-based tolls. Furthermore, EU countries will be required to establish different rates based on carbon emissions as of 2026, and to reduce the charges for zero- or low-emission vehicles.
As always, the new rules are complex—they include several exceptions designed to ensure that short-term visitors from other countries, and drivers of light vehicles, will be charged fair usage fees. Three years following the implementation of the new rules, member states will report publicly on tolls and user charges, including information on how they are using the revenue—the goal is that the revenue be used to encourage sustainable transport.
“The elimination of the vignette for heavy vehicles will standardize a system that is currently excessively fragmented,” said European Parliament Rapporteur Giuseppe Ferrandino. “We will encourage the world of transport to use cleaner vehicles. I am very pleased to have obtained the introduction of the one-day vignette for all vehicles in circulation, which will allow travelers in transit to pay a fair price for their journey. This is also a positive development for tourism—it ensures that travelers will not be penalized.”
Over the last decade, a variety of support policies for electric vehicles (EVs) were instituted in key markets which helped stimulate a major expansion of electric car models. But the challenge remains enormous. Reaching a trajectory consistent with the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario will require putting 230 million EVs on the world’s roads by 2030. Significant fiscal incentives spurred the initial uptake of electric light-duty vehicles (LDVs) and underpinned the scale-up in EV manufacturing and battery industries. The measures primarily purchase subsidies, and/or vehicle purchase and registration tax rebates. They were designed to reduce the price gap with conventional vehicles. Such measures were implemented as early as the 1990s in Norway, in the United States in 2008, and in China in 2014. These were the main policies that have driven electric vehicle growth. And it is time for more as goals are being pushed for zero-emission goals.