Wrong framework conditions prevent climate neutrality in road freight transport
"If the government does not fundamentally change the framework conditions immediately, it will no longer be able to achieve the drive transition towards climate-friendly road freight transport by 2030 and will miss the climate targets." (Prof Dr Dirk Engelhardt, Spokesman of the BGL Executive Board)
"Politics demands, but does not promote. Transport, tax and climate policy are not synchronised - as a result, the German government is itself slowing down progress in the climate footprint of road freight transport." (Frank Huster, Managing Director DSLV)
"As Mercedes-Benz Trucks, it is a key concern of ours to tackle climate change and lead the sustainable transport of the future. We have focussed our corporate strategy on this and are investing considerable resources in it. Thanks to intensive development efforts, we have high-quality battery-electric trucks for various applications in series production. However, for our customers to buy these vehicles in large numbers, they also need competitive costs. Zero-emission trucks are more expensive to buy than diesel trucks and it is therefore important for our customers that their purchase continues to be subsidised. We also need a nationwide charging and refuelling infrastructure for battery and hydrogen-powered vehicles. We are involved in important projects in this area. However, with a view to the CO2 reduction targets by 2030, we need to make much faster progress in developing the infrastructure in Europe. To achieve this, processes must be accelerated, bureaucracy reduced and financial resources increased. It is therefore urgently necessary to use part of the toll revenue for this purpose." (Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck Holding AG)
"Over the past few years, we have invested heavily in research and development to switch our portfolio to zero-emission technologies. The battery-electric drive was first launched in the bus sector and is now also ready for the truck sector. Since the market launch in mid-2021, we have delivered over 1,000 electric MAN city buses in Europe. We are scaling quickly - which is related to the fact that local authorities are the customers for our eCity buses. In 2024, we will deliver the first battery-electric heavy-duty trucks to haulage companies. To ensure a rapid ramp-up in this area too, we need the right political framework conditions. Initially, e-vehicles should be subsidised due to the higher acquisition costs. In addition, we need around 4,000 publicly accessible high-power charging points in Germany alone by 2030. 1.5 billion euros should be earmarked annually from 2024 to 2026 for the development of this infrastructure." (Alexander Vlaskamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of MAN Truck & Bus SE and member of the Executive Board of TRATON SE)
Companies in the freight forwarding, transport and logistics sector and commercial vehicle manufacturers are united by the goal of making the greatest possible contribution to climate-friendly road freight transport. Zero-emission commercial vehicles are of crucial importance for this. In order to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in road freight transport, they must be put on the roads quickly and in increasing numbers, while at the same time the necessary refuelling and charging infrastructure must be established. Regrettably, the necessary political framework conditions have not yet been put in place.
At a joint press conference in Berlin, representatives of the associations of the freight forwarding, transport and logistics industry BGL (Bundesverband Güterkraftverkehr Logistik und Entsorgung) and DSLV (Bundesverband Spedition und Logistik) as well as the two German commercial vehicle manufacturers MAN Truck & Bus SE and Daimler Truck Holding AG (Daimler Truck) therefore called for an immediate course correction in transport and climate policy.
Road freight transport currently accounts for 85% of freight transport in Germany and will continue to bear the main burden of goods transport in the future. A successful climate turnaround in freight transport must therefore also start directly with the more than 6 million commercial vehicles (KBA vehicle population in Europe as of 1 January 2022) that supply industry, trade and the population with goods every day and are almost exclusively powered by state-of-the-art combustion technology.
The German government's policy, on the other hand, is setting the wrong framework conditions for the success of the drive transition and is thus jeopardising the achievement of the climate targets it has set itself.
Particularly in heavy-duty long-distance lorry transport, a rapid switch to so-called zero-emission vehicles is more urgent than ever in view of rising CO2 taxes and non-decreasing CO2 emissions.
The future vision of heavy-duty e-trucks is currently still clouded: there is a lack of electricity and hydrogen. There is a lack of power chargers and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. The necessary space is lacking. Added to this is the lack of security for reliable and efficient state funding for the purchase of KsNI. This is the basis for investments by the predominantly medium-sized haulage and transport industry in locally emission-free vehicle alternatives.
Due to its lower daily mileage, local and regional transport (up to 200 km) is virtually predestined for electromobility. But here, too, there is a stumbling block when it comes to rapid drive change. Due to the sluggish expansion of base-load capable power grids to the logistics terminals, distribution centres and depots, accompanied by a KsNI funding programme that is far removed from reality, many haulage companies are unable to go beyond a pilot phase with electrically powered commercial vehicles, even in distribution transport.
BGL, DSLV, Daimler Truck and MAN Truck & Bus SE therefore demand:
- Reinvesting a considerable proportion of the high additional revenue from the lorry toll and the Fuel Emissions Trading Act, amounting to around €9 billion per year, in climate protection by increasing and stabilising budget funds for a rapid climate-neutral transformation of road freight transport
- Shortening planning times to accelerate the development of a public fast-charging infrastructure, including the expansion of the network and the expansion of parking spaces for commercial vehicles. Germany needs at least 10,000 public truck charging points - at least 4,000 of which must be high-power.
- De-bureaucratisation of existing funding programmes
- A coordinated, practice-oriented approach by the responsible ministries (BMDV, BMWK and BMF) coordinated by the Federal Chancellery in dialogue with the affected user groups, the manufacturing industry and the energy sector as part of a "Round Table on Climate-Friendly Road Freight Transport".