GHG quota: benefits for the fleet and latest changes

The changes to the GHG quota also have an impact on the vehicle fleet

Owners of electric vehicles can earn several hundred euros extra each year. How does that work? With the GHG quota. As a climate protection instrument, the quota is intended to help minimize climate-damaging emissions in the transport sector. The CO2 saved by e-vehicles plays a central role here. These not only contribute to environmental protection, but are also highly sought after by petroleum companies. In this blog post, you will learn how you can benefit from this in your fleet and what changes to the GHG quota regulations have come into effect since August 2023.

What is the GHG quota?

In Germany, greenhouse gases are to be reduced by at least 65% by 2030 and by at least 88% by 2040 compared with 1990 levels. The transport sector accounts for a large share of environmentally harmful emissions. With the greenhouse gas reduction quota, GHG for short, the legislature therefore aims to reduce nationwide emissions and promote more sustainable mobility. With the help of the GHG quota, the EU targets in transport of 14% renewable energy by 2030 are to be advanced.

In accordance with the requirements of sections 37a to 37c of the German Federal Immission Control Act, mineral oil companies that sell fossil fuels such as gasoline or diesel are required to compensate for their climate-damaging greenhouse gases. The greenhouse gas reduction quota specifies the percentage of emissions that must be reduced within one year. While fuel suppliers currently have to demonstrate 7% of CO₂ savings, this figure will rise to 25% by 2030. If the quota is not met, companies face penalties of €600 for each ton of CO₂ not offset.

How GHG quota trading works

To comply with the requirements, companies can produce lower-emission fuels or purchase so-called emissions certificates. These are sold by companies that offer low- and zero-emission fuels. For example, charging station operators have been selling emissions certificates to petroleum companies for a number of years. Since 2022, private and commercial owners of fully electric e-vehicles have also been able to continue buying the CO₂ they save. In return, you will receive financial compensation. The price of the certificates varies and is determined by supply and demand on the market.

To calculate the quota shares, the Federal Environment Agency estimates the electricity consumption of an e-car each year. For passenger cars, this is 2,000 kWh (as of 2022) in accordance with Section 7 (3) of the 38th BImSchV. The resulting CO₂ savings – compared to a vehicle with an internal combustion engine – can then be sold on as a quota.

In the meantime, there are quite a few service providers who handle the sales between the petroleum companies and private individuals or companies with e-vehicles in their inventory. They also handle the application for the quota at the Federal Environment Agency and subsequently pay out the quota.

Even in the fleet, money can be earned through the greenhouse gas (GHG) quota for electrically operated company cars
Owners of electric vehicles can earn around 300 euros per year as a bonus thanks to the greenhouse gas (GHG) quota. But be aware: The submission deadline has been moved up to November 15 of the application year.

These changes apply to the GHG quota regulations as of August 2023

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV) has revised the GHG quota regulations and announced changes. In addition to a shortened submission deadline, there are also innovations in the vehicle classes eligible to apply.

Shortened submission period

One of the most important changes is the shortening of the submission period. While it was previously possible to apply for the GHG quota by February 28 of the following year, the deadline has now been brought forward to November 15 of the year of application. Fleets with e-vehicles in their inventory should therefore apply for their premiums in good time so as not to miss the early deadlines. The purpose of adjusting the deadline is to speed up the processing of applications. However, whether it minimizes the effectiveness of the GHG quota as a subsidy for electromobility is debatable.

New estimated values for vehicle classes

There are also changes in the vehicle classes for which a premium application can be submitted. In the future, the GHG quota can then only be applied for vehicles that are not subject to registration if there is also a separate estimated value for this vehicle class. This means that the premium for e-scooters or e-motorcycles no longer applies. So far, these have been able to obtain the same GHG quota as a regular electric car in the M1 vehicle class thanks to voluntary registration.

On the other hand, electric commercial vehicles and e-trucks of the classes N2 and N3 can benefit from this change. For these vehicles, the estimated value for passenger cars was previously used. Commercial vehicles and trucks now have their own appraised value, thanks to which they receive an individual promotion and a higher premium.

New deviating values for the different vehicle classes:

  • Class N1 (light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 to.): 3,000 kWh
  • Class N2 (heavy commercial vehicles up to 12 to.): 20,600 kWh (previously counted as passenger car)
  • Class N3 (heavy commercial vehicles over 12 to.): 33,400 kWh (previously counted as passenger car)
  • Class M3 (buses): 72,000 kWh

For trucks up to 12 tons (N2), this will increase the premium tenfold. Trucks over 12 tons (N3) receive almost fifteen times as much.

Addresses of wallboxes are published

A GHG premium can also be applied for private charging stations that can be used by the public. If you have approved the wallboxes installed on your property for public charging and apply for a premium, the address of your wallboxes will be publicly available at the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) in the future. Because only those who make their charging power publicly available and share it can benefit from the GHG quota. This is intended to improve the charging infrastructure and at the same time prevent wallboxes that are not publicly accessible from benefiting from the premium.

Frequently asked questions about the GHG quota in the vehicle fleet

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV) has revised the GHG quota regulations and announced changes. In addition to a shortened submission deadline, there are also innovations in the vehicle classes eligible to apply.

Who can apply for the GHG premium?

In addition to private individuals, companies can also benefit from the GHG quota and register leased and company vehicles in their fleets. The only requirement is that the applicant is also the registered vehicle owner. One of the numerous service providers then takes care of applying to the Federal Environment Agency for the premium and selling the GHG quota. These bundle all the certificates into packages and sell them to the oil companies.

How often can the GHG premium be applied for?

The GHG premium can be applied for once per calendar year and will be available until at least 2030.

How does the sale of emission certificates work?

Once you have chosen a THG provider, upload a copy of the Part 1 registration certificate in addition to contact and account details. The service provider then takes care of everything else, such as applying for the GHG quota at the Federal Environment Agency and selling it to a petroleum company. The review by the Federal Environment Agency currently takes around six to eight weeks.

Can several e-vehicles from the fleet also be registered?

The GHG premium is tied to the vehicle. This means that an owner can also apply for the GHG premium for several vehicles.

How do Carano’s software solutions simplify GHG quota sales?

Carano will offer an automated GHG application interface for its Fleet+ fleet software for the coming year. This makes it very easy for you to secure the premium for all your vehicles in the fleet.

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