With the entry into force of a new regulation (38th BImSchV) in January 2022, GHG quotas have become directly relevant for eCar drivers. But how exactly does the new regulation work?

In order to achieve the political climate goals, the energy turnaround must be driven forward and CO2 emissions must be greatly reduced. However, greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector hardly fell at all in the last 20 years compared to other sectors. In order to change this, the draft legislation for the further development of the greenhouse gas reduction quota, GHG quota for short, was already presented in May 2021. It is considered the successor to the biofuel quota that has been in place since 2007. In 2015, the changeover to the greenhouse gas reduction quota took place, which initially obliged mineral oil companies to reduce their emissions by three percent by placing lower-CO2 forms of energy on the market. In 2019, the reduction to be achieved rose to four percent, followed by six percent in 2020 and seven percent for the compliance year 2022. The quota will rise steadily in the coming years, up to 25 percent in 2030.

The GHG quota is intended to create incentives to reduce CO2 emissions in transport.

Essentially, the legislator is pursuing three approaches to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector:

  1. Reduction of the volume of traffic
  2. Shifting the volume of traffic to lower-emission modes of transport
  3. Shift to alternative, climate-friendly modes of propulsion

The introduction of GHG quotas is intended to stimulate the latter – according to the principle: those who bring CO2 into traffic must pay for it, those who reduce CO2 emissions profit. Mineral oil companies pass on the resulting additional costs to fossil energy sources, and the costs for petrol and diesel rise accordingly. At the same time, the GHG quota opens up new revenue potential for clean drive concepts such as electro mobility. This creates an additional incentive for car drivers and fleet operators to switch to low-CO2 electro mobility – and to profit from it.

Drivers of electric vehicles thus actively help to reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions. All they have to do is apply to the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency) for the flat-rate CO2 emissions, and then offer them for sale to the mineral oil companies that are obliged to reduce them. The money is paid directly to the e-car drivers. The warnings of a modern form of selling indulgences are unfounded. All resulting GHG quotas are sold to mineral oil companies. If the drivers do not take action themselves, the quotas are sold by the state to the mineral oil industry.

How can operators of charging infrastructure benefit from GHG quotas?

Operators of public charging points have been “owners” of the GHG quota since 1.1.2022 and can thus sell it on. Since the operators of the charging points put emission-free fuels into circulation, they can have these saved CO2 emissions credited to them in the form of GHG quotas and then sell them to the mineral companies that are obliged to pay the quotas. In order to minimise the effort and transaction costs involved in trading GHG quotas, trading with the mineral oil companies is bundled via quota traders. In this way, companies with charging infrastructure can benefit from electromobility in a simple way and secure additional revenues.

The quota traders offer fixed or also variable premiums for the transfer of quotas. Charging point operators also indicate the value of the kilowatt hours converted. For electric car drivers, it is sufficient to own an electric vehicle. Electricity quantities do not have to be specified due to a flat-rate charging current value.

Note: If you want to make your charging station available to the public and thus take full advantage of the GHG quotas, check whether you have claimed a subsidy for the charging infrastructure that only applies to non-public charging stations. Talk to your charging infrastructure service provider and ask for advice.

You would like to benefit from the GHG quota?

Learn how you can generate additional revenue with reev GHG quotas here.