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LNG and CNG trucks are exempt from German road tolls. This also applies to bi-fuel vehicles. Due to some confusion, the German BAG has clarified the content of the law exempting gas-fuelled trucks from toll. Only vehicles in which the share of natural gas in normal operation outweighs the share of other used fuel are exempt from German tolls. 

From 1 January 2019 until the end of 2020, trucks running on ecological gas fuels – CNG (compressed natural gas) and LNG (liquefied natural gas) – are exempt from road tolls in Germany. The exemption will also apply to bi-fuel vehicles fuelled with natural gas and diesel. After these two years, gas-fuelled trucks will be exempted from part of the toll, i.e. the environmental charge (for air pollution).

The results of the toll control show that the requirements for exemption from tolls are often poorly assessed, especially in the case of retrofitted vehicles.

Gas share must prevail

Due to some confusion, BAG published a report at the end of July informing that only vehicles in which the share of natural gas in normal operation outweighs the share of other used fuel are exempt from German toll. 

Domestic and foreign vehicles fuelled by NG (Natural Gas), CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) or LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) are exempt from the toll until the end of next year. BAG also allows hybrid propulsion, such as two-component operation with liquefied natural gas and diesel.

There is one condition, however – the share of natural gas in normal operation must prevail. Otherwise, it is assumed that it is not a natural gas propulsion system within the meaning of the Act. 

As BAG explains, mono-fuel vehicles are exempt if they have ‘NG’ or ‘LNG’ in box P.3 of the registration certificate and bi-fuel vehicles if they have e.g. ‘LNG/Diesel’ in the same box of the document. If the registration certificate shows ‘Diesel’ (D) in box P.3, the vehicle is not exempt from toll in Germany. Where the truck is a bi-fuel vehicle and the information about the bi-fuel drive is contained in ‘official notices’, the owner may provide appropriate documentation to prove that the vehicle is mostly gas-powered. 

Photo: Jukka Isokoski/ Wikimedia Commons

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