The kilometer charge for trucks works because the proportion of clean trucks on Belgian roads is steadily increasing, with 80% of the trucks being of the latest Euro 6 standard. The increase is so significant, in fact, that Viapass is proposing making the rules stricter in the future, even for electric trucks.
In 2021, revenues also increased by 12% to just over 814 million euros. “The largest share (529 million) of this revenue was generated in Flanders, followed by Wallonia (274 million), and Brussels (9,9 million), and almost half was paid by holders of Belgian license plates,” Johan Schoups, Administrator General of Viapass, states.
In 2016, the kilometer tax for trucks was introduced in Belgium. This additional driving tax does not exist for light vans. On the one hand, the levy is intended to reduce congestion on certain routes. On the other hand, the kilometer charge aims to make the truck fleet greener, because the cleaner the emission standard, the lower the charge.
Difficult to further green the fleet
Today, Viapass, the organization that organizes the toll, indicates that more than 80% of the vehicles that had to pay a toll met the strictest Euro 6 standard. Euro 5 vehicles accounted for 15%, and the rest were even older trucks.
Those trucks often drive fewer kilometers and are less likely to be replaced soon by newer, cleaner trucks Viapass estimates. So it will be difficult to further ‘green’ the trucking fleet with this set of standards.
Electric trucks also damage roads
Because most vehicles today already meet the Euro 6 standard and, by extension, pay the lowest tax, there is growing support for tightening the rules. This would mean a tariff increase for Euro 6 trucks to give a boost to the transition to electrically powered vehicles in the future.
Schoups wants to think about a new tariff, but he does not believe that electric vehicles should benefit from a zero tariff because they also cause damage to the road infrastructure. The various governments are also thinking about the issue, but there is currently no consensus.