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Mobility pricing - Key in managing the “mobility transition”

As the world is rapidly warming, it is clear that we desperately need to rethink our transport system. The transport sector is the #1 “problem child“ as far as climate change is concerned! In Germany for example CO2 emissions in all other sectors are decreasing in line with targets set by the government. But despite more efficient ICE vehicles and an increasing number of electric vehicles, there no CO2 reductions in the transport sector, as the number of road trips (people and good transports) is at an all-time high. As a consequence, road transport is generating 94% of the transport greenhouse gas emissions in Europe today!

We all will have to fundamentally change our mobility behavior to seriously start fighting climate change. It is becoming more and more obvious that the “mobility transition” (German “Verkehrswende”) needed, will require an adaptation of the fiscal instruments of the transport sector to incentivize citizens and businesses to avoid trips and to use alternative and more sustainable transport modes. First countries (CH, UK, NL, some US states, …) have started initiatives towards introducing general “mobility pricing” schemes allowing them to compensate for decreasing fuel tax income (due to an increasing number of EVs) while at the same time providing them with a “policy tool” to manage the desperately needed mobility transition.

In the long run we can expect to see more and more countries going down the “mobility pricing” path. Mileage-based road user charges on all roads will be heavily debated and will see many opponents, but it seems to be the only option for governments to change our transport system and steer society towards a more sustainable future.

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