Drivers face steep price rises for luxury cars under measures to force manufacturers to meet strict CO2 targets. Those who go green by buying a car with low emissions will be rewarded with savings on fuel over the lifetime of the vehicle, according to plans unveiled yesterday.

With several commissioners dissenting, the European Commission set a four-year phase-in period from 2012 for fines on manufacturers whose fleets exceed an average of 120 g/km of the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.

Far simpler to add to the petrol tax than this sort of stupidity. As far as I can see (and do correct me if I\’m wrong) they\’ve also made same mistake the US did with the CAFE standards. This applies to passenger cars but not to trucks (whether light or not). And it\’s that distinction within CAFE which lead to the introduction of SUVs in the first place.


7 thoughts on “Idiots”

  1. We need to force people onto less efficient forms of transport!

    For that is what over-correcting for an externality will do. eg. “I was going to drive up to Edinburgh for the weekend, but now I think I’ll fly to Paris instead – it’ll be cheaper”

  2. The law of unintended consequences has a special clause in it for the exquisite stupidity that is luxury taxes. Which is what this really is – let’s not kid ourselves. If it’s emitters of ghg’s that you want to discourage, then you should progressively-tax older vehicles – which emit far more – not brand-new ones. This is about making rich people pay more taxes.

    To see the consequences of luxury taxes, just do a Google on the outcomes of the last round of these in the US. They were brought in in 1991, and produced a net loss in tax revenues as well as significant job losses and economic damage. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Stupid this bad ought to physically hurt, to discousrage people from doing it.
    CAFE failed because of its two-tier structure (autos vs light trucks), which was a political ploy to exempt a lot of people who drove that sort of vehicle. At the time, this meant your basic pickup truck, where heat was an option and the dashboard was made of steel. Well, you make an exception that wide, you’d have to be stupid to expect the automakers not to take advantage so long as oil was cheap, and so we got to the 7000# Excursion, with its leather seats and 2 air conditioners – but it’s a ‘truck’!

    The market is curing that problem. The big 3 can hardly give away trucks and truck-based SUV’s in the US anymore – to private individuals, anyway. Any way that you try and legislate fleet construction or performance is a sub-optimal solution, because the automakers will find ways to give customers what they want. If your plan is to reduce consumption/emissions, then the simple answer is to adjust the price. If you can get it done and save your political skin.



  3. ” If your plan is to reduce consumption/emissions, then the simple answer is to adjust the price.”

    None of this is really about CO2, though, is it? I read about analysis that shows less CO2 is emitted flying roses from Kenya than growing them in a hothouse in Europe. And Greenpeace’s reaction to carbon footprint calculations that show the myth of “food miles” was “this is about minimising costs and maximising profits.”

    Let’s translate this into plain English: “I’m a cryptocommunist. Everyone rejected socialism by the 1990s so I’m trying to bring it in via the back door by pretending it’s all about saving the planet.”

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