Traffic light coalition: more charging points for more electric cars and a Europe-wide air traffic tax
The mobility of the future should be “sustainable, efficient, barrier-free, intelligent, innovative and affordable for everyone” – this is what the coalition agreement between the SPD, Greens and FDP presented on Wednesday says. At the same time, the climate protection goals are to be achieved. There is a lot to be done in many areas. An overview:
The traffic light coalition is planning higher spending on investments in transport infrastructure. In the case of motorways, more emphasis is to be placed on maintenance and renovation, and the funds for this are to be increased. In addition, the current federal transport route plan is to be revised with the involvement of transport, environmental, economic and consumer protection associations. A CO2 differentiation for truck tolls is also planned from 2023. The traffic light coalition also wants to take action against noise pollution.
The outgoing federal government had also increased the funds for maintaining the motorways in 2021. 12.12 billion euros were estimated, in 2020 it was 11.46 billion euros. Of this, 10.93 billion euros were earmarked for the construction, maintenance and operation of federal highways.
There are already plans at EU level to align truck tolls with CO2 emissions from trucks: Vehicles from 3.5 tons should therefore pay different tolls depending on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted.
The rail transport master plan is to be further developed and implemented more quickly. The traffic light parties also want to increase rail freight traffic to 25 percent by 2030. In addition, more regional centers are to be connected to long-distance traffic. The use of the rail is to become cheaper, and cross-border train traffic in the EU is also to be expanded with night train services.
According to the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG), the current share of rail freight transport in total transport performance is significantly lower. In 2020, 18.5 percent of all goods were transported by rail, compared to the previous year this was even a slight decrease of 0.5 percentage points.
Local public transport
The number of passengers in local public transport should increase significantly. To this end, the federal, state and local governments should agree on financing issues by 2030. In addition, common quality criteria and standards for offers for urban and rural areas are to be defined.
Before the corona pandemic, the number of passengers in local public transport had risen steadily: According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), passengers used local public transport 10.434 billion times in 2019; in 2018 it was 10.382 billion. In the Corona year 2020, after a total of 22 years of steadily increasing passenger numbers due to the pandemic, there was a historical decline of at times 80 percent.
In 2030, there should be at least 15 million electric cars on Germany’s roads. The aim is therefore also to expand the charging infrastructure: by 2030, one million publicly accessible charging points should be accessible. With a mobility data law, traffic data should also be freely accessible in the future. The traffic light coalition also wants to put tax benefits for diesel cars to the test.
According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), a total of 517,000 purely electric cars were registered as of October 1, 2021. In addition, around 494,000 plug-in hybrids drove on German roads. When it comes to the charging infrastructure, there is still a gap to the goals of the traffic light coalition: According to the consulting firm Horváth & Partners, there were around 35,600 public or semi-public charging points in Germany in 2020. In 2021, the number will increase to around 53,000.
“Germany should become a pioneer in CO2-neutral flying,” says the coalition agreement. The aim is therefore to create fair competitive conditions for “effective climate protection in air traffic”. The coalitionists therefore want to campaign for a Europe-wide air traffic tax. In addition, airline tickets should no longer be allowed to be sold at a price below taxes, surcharges, fees and charges.
Germany is currently one of the few European countries that levy an air traffic tax. It is due on all flights that start from German airports and is calculated based on the number of passengers and the distance covered by the flight. (AFP)