Making trucks pay for the damage they cause will raise a lot more money, deliver a large reduction in emissions and reduce the death toll on our roads. [Richard Denniss , Australia Institute]
A recent report on how EVs are ‘damaging our roads’ was widely reported: Electric vehicles are heavy – Vision Group for Sidmouth
But whereas EVs are indeed ‘heavier’ than conventional cars, due primarily to the batteries, it’s goods vehicles which actually cause the most damage.
As noted some 15 years ago from the Metropolitan Transport Research Unit: Heavy Lorries – do they pay for the damage they cause?
The heavy goods vehicle industry replied: How Much Damage Do HGV’s Really Do? | The LGV Training Company
As a repost, here’s the view from Australia from a couple of years ago:
The purpose of the tax system isn’t just to collect revenue, it’s to shape society in ways we see fit. It’s no accident that fresh food is excluded from sales tax and it’s no accident that the tax on alcohol is higher than the tax on water.
We tax cigarettes and alcohol because we want to discourage their use. We subsidise vaccinations and pharmaceuticals because we want to encourage their use. If we want to encourage more people to buy low-emission vehicles we should subsidise them and if we want to discourage people from buying them we should tax them.
And if we want to find an equitable and efficient way to charge for our roads, Australian governments should listen to the National Transport Commission and significantly increase the taxes paid by heavy vehicles. Making trucks pay for the damage they cause will raise a lot more money, deliver a large reduction in emissions and reduce the death toll on our roads. But it would upset powerful industries, so don’t hold your breath – even as the subsidised diesel particulates fill your lungs.
Historically, trucks have received many more subsidies than other forms of transport – and it takes it toll, from America to Europe – on the local economy, on the environment and on people’s health: Futures Forum: We are all truck-drivers now… The free movement of goods, increased carbon emissions and the destruction of manufacturing industry
Finally, e-bikes are heavier than their conventional counterparts, as noted by a correspondent:
I must say, my e.bike is too heavy to push these days… And staying on it requires a fair bit of strength. I hear from other e.bikes owners that indeed this is the one drawback… I can only imagine how exponential this problem is the larger the vehicle! Vision Group for Sidmouth | Facebook
And yet the technologies are developing: Improved EV Batteries: Advancing Electric Vehicle Technology – Global Village Space | Technology and Battery breakthrough could power long-range electric cars and planes – Positive News