Traffic and transport

In comparison to 1990, transport-related emissions must be cut by between 40 and 42 per cent by 2030. A package of measures to encourage electric mobility, promote the railways and introduce CO2 pricing is to achieve this.

Expanding the charging infrastructure for electric mobility

In Germany, a total of one million charging stations are to be available by 2030. The German government will promote the development of a network of public charging stations by 2025, and produce a master plan for the charging station infrastructure. It will make it mandatory for all petrol stations in Germany to provide charging stations. And more charging stations are to be installed on customer car parks. Most charging will, however, take place at home or at the workplace. A buyer’s premium will thus also be made available for private and commercial charging infrastructure.

The legal provisions regarding the installation of charging infrastructure are to be simplified in the Act on the Ownership of Apartments and the Permanent Residential Right (Wohneigentumsgesetz, WEG) and in legal provisions governing renting properties. Landlords will be required to tolerate the installation of charging infrastructure.

Encouraging people to switch to electric vehicles

The premium scheme for people buying electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles is to be continued and extended to cover the purchase of vehicles costing less than 40,000 euros. The aim of the German government is to have between 7 and 10 million electric vehicles registered in Germany by 2030. First-time-registrations and retrofitted electric vehicles will initially pay no vehicle tax. This regulation is to be extended until 31 December 2025. Tax breaks for electric company vehicles are also to remain in place, with particularly attractive conditions for purely electric vehicles (up to a purchase price of 40,000 euros).

A premium scheme for the purchase of commercial vehicles using alternative engine technology is planned as of 2020.

More attractive local public transport

The German government has raised federal funding for local public transport to one billion euros a year as of 2021. The additional funding is to be used to expand local public transport networks. As of 2025 the funding is to rise to 2 billion euros a year. Incentives are, for instance, to encourage bus fleets to switch to electric, hydrogen- and biogas-powered technology. By 2030, 50 per cent of inner-city buses are to be electric.

Investment in the railways

Between now and 2030, the German government and the railway company Deutsche Bahn are to invest 86 billion euros in the track infrastructure. Capacities and efficiency are to be enhanced by pressing ahead with the electrification of the railway network and the digitalisation of control and safety technology.

Goods traffic will also benefit from this modernisation. To get more goods traffic off the roads and onto the rails, single wagon load systems are to be promoted. This is deemed to be the foundation of rail freight transport. The rail network that can be used by longer freight trains is to be expanded.

Rail travel to be cheaper – short flights to be more expensive

Value added tax payable on railway tickets for long-distance travel will be charged at a reduced rate of 7 per cent. In air travel, the German government is to raise the air traffic surcharge as of 1 January 2020 as well as preventing dumping prices.

Consistent CO2-based reform of vehicle tax

The German government will gear vehicle tax more closely to the CO2 emissions of the vehicle and to this end produce a bill to reform vehicle tax for passenger cars. For vehicles registered for the first time as of 1 January 2021 tax will be calculated primarily on the basis of CO2 emissions per kilometre, and gradually increased above the level of 95 gCO2/km.

After the energy sector and industry the transport sector is the third largest producer of CO2 emissions, accounting for almost 19 per cent of the total. The vast majority of emissions in this sector come from road traffic. Private cars with internal combustion engines are responsible for just under 61 per cent of this. Since 1990 transport-related CO2 emissions have not decreased. Although vehicle technology has become more energy efficient, there are far more vehicles on the road than there were 30 years ago – 71 per cent more heavy goods traffic and 31 per cent more private cars. In Germany some 47 million private cars are registered. If we are to achieve our climate targets, more vehicles will have to become more efficient, and more climate-friendly.

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