Running a truck in Europe powered by natural gas now makes even more economic sense after the German Parliament voted to remove all toll charges for natural gas-powered trucks.
Iveco, one of the leaders in natural gas technology development for heavy vehicles, has welcomed the move.
The Italian manufacturer saying the removal of toll charges will be a boost for local operators and transporters passing through the country on long-haul routes.
The toll exemption for natural gas-powered trucks (liquefied natural gas – LNG and compressed natural gas – CNG) applies to all trucks above 7.5 tonnes and will initially be in place for two years from January 1 next year.
German lawmakers saying the toll exemption adds financial advantages to the environmental benefits that natural-gas powered trucks bring.
The country also recently introduced subsidies on the purchase of natural gas heavy vehicles of up to €12,000 (just over $20,000 AUD).
Why is German pushing the use of natural gas instead of diesel?
Proponents say the use of LNG/CNG can cut Nitrogen Dioxide emissions by 90%, particulate matter by 99% and up to 95% less CO2 emissions (with the use of biomethane) than diesel.
Natural gas-powered trucks can also be significantly quieter than their diesel counterparts.
Pierre Lahutte, Iveco Brand President, welcomed the German decision.
“Germany is at the crossroads of European logistics, so these decisive moves by the country’s authorities will dramatically accelerate the penetration of alternative natural gas powertrains across the continent.”
The announcement comes just days after Iveco, along with siblings, FPT Powertrains, and parent company, CNH Industrial, grabbed headlines after a natural-gas powered Stralis covered over 1,700km on a single tank.
Should the Australian government be doing more to encourage natural gas use in road transport? Is this a better solution than electric? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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