The Federal Climate Protection Act stipulates a 55 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in Germany across all sectors by 2030. For the transport sector, a reduction of 42 percent compared to 1990 is enshrined in law. Currently, the tightening of climate targets is in the legislative process.
Road freight transport, which is still largely based on diesel drives, causes around one-third of CO2 emissions in the transport sector. This is set to change. By 2030, around one-third of this mileage in heavy road freight transport is to be provided electrically or on the basis of electricity-based fuels – as formulated by the German government in its 2030 climate protection program.
The focus is on heavy road freight transport with the EC vehicle classes N2 (more than 3.5 to 12 t gross vehicle weight) and N3 (more than 12 t gross vehicle weight) – vehicle classes that provide a high transport performance and have comparatively short operating cycles of three to five years. Replacing the fleet with low- and zero-emission vehicles has a correspondingly high CO2 savings potential.
However, the range of (heavy) commercial vehicles with alternative drives is still very small. Trucks with battery-electric drives, hydrogen fuel cell drives and hybrid overhead line drives are predominantly still in a development or pre-series state. In addition, the necessary refueling, charging and overhead line infrastructure for commercial vehicles with alternative drives is currently not available or not sufficiently available.
With its overall concept for climate-friendly commercial vehicles, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has therefore drawn up a long-term roadmap for implementing the measures from the climate protection program and outlined a path toward decarbonizing road freight transport.
In addition to infrastructure development and the regulatory framework, an important component of the BMVI’s package of measures from the overall concept for climate-friendly commercial vehicles is vehicle subsidies. The funding guideline for this is currently being drawn up and is expected to be published in summer 2021. The first call for funding will follow shortly.