Buying a new car: should we heavily tax everything that is not electric?

Buying a new car: should we heavily tax everything that is not electric?

A report finds that tax incentives for car electrification are insufficient in France. The solution would be to heavily tax everything that is not electrical!

In its latest report, Transport & Environment (T&E), a group of some fifty European NGOs, highlights the taxation of cars in France. In the words of T&E, this tax “is inadequate for current climate challenges and is hindering the transition of the automotive market to electric”.

On the one hand, T&E points out that between 2015 and 2022, France has gone from 5th until 13 European place for the share of electric cars in total sales of new passenger cars. On the other, the group believes that thermal vehicles escape too much punishment. Thus, according to T&E, polluting cars “are exempt from the polluter pays principle” and, although France was able to very quickly implement “the appropriate fiscal instruments”, with bonuses/penalties or bonuses for scrapping, “it does not exploit or its incentive potential sufficiently”.

The French already avoid excessively polluting models

To affirm this, the group points out that two thirds of the thermal vehicles sold in 2021 were not affected by a sanction. And that “only 3% of new thermal vehicles purchased in 2021 were affected by a penalty of more than €1,000. We make the numbers say what we want.

Because in front of them, one can think that the tax system is already an incentive, since the French flee from strongly malussé models! The most polluting cars are well taxed in France, but the French have learned this time to avoid them (and manufacturers to stop selling them). The same for companies with the TVS that encourages the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Clearly, the highly taxed polluting model is usually a product of pleasure, so its buyer bears the tax and, in fact, is subject to the polluter pays principle. Not to mention that the French who buy a gasoline car without misuse pay other taxes, starting with the gray card and then of course the fuel.

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In addition to reinforcing the penalty in thermals, the group thus requests the end of the premium for scrapping in all thermals, subsisting this aid for low-income households. And it knocks out the plug-in hybrid again, because “in real conditions, these cars emit three to five times more COtwo than the official measures. Therefore, we must end support for add-ons.

Clearly, the only solution is fully electric. Of course, we at Automobile Propre like electric vehicles, but we like less these radical positions that, if taken for an environmental purpose, forget any social dimension. Instead ” to better exploit the incentive potential of our tax system”, One wonders if the most appropriate word for T&E might not be punitive potential.

The end of the thermal is already recorded

Because, in Le Parisien, Léo Larivière points, for example, to the case of the 208 petrol, one of the best-selling models in France, which does not have a penalty, which is not normal according to him. Clearly anything that needs to be thermal needs to be heavily abused. The buyer of a small 75 hp 208 petrol is a paid polluter! A shock treatment that exists in Norway, where 80% of cars sold in 2022 are already electric.

And it’s a shame that the e-208 is still more expensive, even thanks to the purchase aid. We also note that in the press release summarizing the report, T&E does not mention the many subsidies for electric vehicles in France, the country that knows how to be very generous. The bonus will increase to €7,000 for half of the households in 2023, when it was going to drop to €5,000.

Given the explosive issue of fuels, it is difficult to see the application of a death sentence to urban thermal cars… which in any case are already doomed to disappear in Europe, the Old Continent that intends to be fully electric by 2035, a deadline that is obviously too away for T&E. The main brands will even be 100% electric from 2030, for example Ford, Peugeot or Renault. So it doesn’t seem helpful to shake the stick too much.

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