11 Nov 2020, 13:14
Kerstine Appunn

German transport minister advocates scrapping premium for old lorries

Bayerischer Rundfunk / AFP / Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s transport minister Andreas Scheuer continues to pursue a ‘cash for clunkers’ scheme for old lorries. Since large lorries with alternative drive systems, such as fuel cells or batteries, are not readily available yet, bridging technologies should be used to exchange ’old stinkers‘ for modern combustion engine models, Scheuer said on Bayerischer Rundfunk public radio. Scheuer advocates an open approach to which technology will prevail in future goods transport on roads and said modern combustion engines with synthetic fuels could be used to ensure a secure goods supply while alternative drive systems are scaled up. Scheuer will host a Commercial Vehicle Summit today to discuss new transport technologies with stakeholders from the vehicles industry, logistics sector and energy industry.

But Scheuer faces opposition from another cabinet member. Environment minister Svenja Schulze told Bayerischer Rundfunk that the government had said no to a scrapping premium for personal cars for a reason. She added it was important that completely CO2-neutral lorries were finding their way onto Germany’s roads as quickly as possible.

The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) said in a press release that incentives to scale up technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, battery driven and catenary lorries have to be improved. “For this we need the appropriate charging infrastructure and improved framework conditions, for example in the form of a CO2-dependent toll,” the NABU writes. The promotion of LNG-powered and diesel trucks has to be ended, they argue.

The Federal Association for Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal (BGL) said in a press release that their sector needed “binding commitments as to when to invest in which technologies.”

Unlike all other sectors, Germany’s transport sector has not been able to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the past 30 years. By 2030, it will have to reduce emissions by 42 percent, the government has decided in its national climate law. Road freight transport is responsible for around one third of total transport emissions.

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