Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: February 5, 2024
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini
Germany flag

T&E asserts that, in this form, the German subsidy “has hindered rather than favored” the adoption of eTrucks

The German government has terminated the funding program aimed at promoting the adoption of eTrucks, causing uncertainty in the German logistics sector. T&E, in conversation with Mobility Portal Europe, examines the consequences that this will entail.

Over the past few months, the German government has phased out many incentives aimed at promoting electric mobility in the country.

One that has caused uncertainty in the sector is the cancellation of the funding program for eTrucks.

This is known as the Guidelines for the Promotion of Commercial Vehicles with Alternative and Climate-Friendly Propulsion and the Corresponding Infrastructure for Storage and Charging (KsNi).

With the simultaneous increase in truck tolls, particularly transport companies are facing significant financial challenges.

Kim Kohlmeyer, E-mobility Manager at T&E Germany.

In this context, Kim Kohlmeyer, E-mobility Manager at Transport & Environment (T&E) Germany, highlights to Mobility Portal Europe:

“The implementation of the KsNi program, with very few funding calls and misleading communication about the financing schedule, has hindered more than favored the adoption of eTrucks.”

For the association, the definitive elimination at least provides planning security for companies.

Considering that the additional costs of an electric truck are three times higher than those of a diesel unit, incentives, especially for medium-sized enterprises, are crucial.

According to a Der Spiegel report, without government support, the purchase of new eTrucks will be financially unfeasible for many companies.

In this regard, Kohlmeyer emphasizes: “The Ministry of Transport must provide companies with the clarity and planning security that already exists from a regulatory standpoint to protect them from wrong decisions.”

Not only are the purchase costs of eVehicles high, but also the investment in the charging infrastructure.

The previous funding envisaged savings of up to 80 per cent for additional costs compared to a diesel vehicle.

Despite the end of the subsidy, the adoption of eTucks in Germany will “increase rapidly.”

During 2023, the year the subsidy was active, the EV market in the country grew significantly, positioning it as one of the most advanced in the transition.

Specifically, last year, over 20,000 electric trucks were registered, accounting for around 7.5 per cent of the market share.

Therefore, T&E urges the Ministry of Transport to develop other less bureaucratic incentives for zero-emission vehicles that encourage a broader range of autos, especially heavy trucks.

Among these measures, they propose considering tax facilities.

“A new program of this kind should have a clear reduction path to favor companies that test vehicles early and provide a clear path to follow,” says Kohlmeyer.

The German government raises the truck toll price

Not only does the cancellation of funding concern the German logistics sector, but also the truck toll price.

This has increased drastically with a climate tax, doubling the previous price.

The federal government expects additional revenues of 7.6 billion euros from tolls this year.

Therefore, the sector hopes that these revenues will be well redirected towards promoting the introduction of electric trucks.

This way, the tariff would allow the total operating costs of EVs to align with those of diesel trucks sooner.

It would also help finance the necessary charging infrastructure to accompany this transition.

Currently, and to comply with the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), Germany has launched Masterplan II.

The master plan is the federal government’s roadmap for the country to have a complete, tailored, and user-friendly charging infrastructure for eMobility.

Now it is necessary for the construction of this infrastructure to be implemented more quickly.

“Today, it’s not about whether there is already charging infrastructure for trucks, what’s important is that it develops, expands, and is ready when the increase in eTrucks occurs,” indicates Kohlmeyer.

This is also essential to comply with what the European Union has established in the AFIR.

The country is preparing its routes according to this through Initialnetz.

This deployment of infrastructure is the key to the success of the German market for alternative propulsion heavy vehicles.

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