• Jan 29, 2009
European car ads are always mentioning how many grams of CO2 a car emits because more than twelve European countries tax drivers based on those emissions. Germany, home to a cadre of automakers for which CO2 parsimony is not a prime consideration, has held out from the carbon dioxide taxation scheme, until now. The leading government coalition has finally agreed on a plan to tax CO2 output.
The only problem is that it doesn't really change much of the scheme already in place, and it's hit-and-miss. This, naturally, has Germany's environmental parties calling foul, yet the nation's domestic producers like VW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, and BMW initially gotten the government to consider lowering the taxes on gas guzzlers. In that light, the new taxation proposal could be seen as a victory, albeit a small one.

As it stands, the yearly tax will be calculated based on engine size and emissions, and smaller-engined, cleaner vehicles will pay less tax. An Opel Agila owner with a 1.2-liter engine and 120 gm/km would save €75, nearly a 40 more.

The new taxing system will go into effect July 1 of this year. Although it now brings Germany into line with a majority of its European partners, if the greens have anything to say about it the issue is nowhere near being put to rest.

[Source: Der Spiegel via Automotive NewsWire]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      My Saab supposedly has cleaner air than what comes into the intake. I bet they find a way to tax that too. Water vapor is the largest contributor to global warming, not CO2....no seriously, look it up. All the green cars output water vapor. Next they will tax that. Thank God the US doesn't do such obsurd things. Oh wait, they do....
        • 5 Years Ago
        There are a few problems with your comment. First of all, internal combustion engines also produce water. The combustion (or burning) of any hydrocarbon produces CO2 and water. Second, that water vapour will actually end up being used somehow - condensation in clouds, liquid water in a river or a lake, sucked up by a plant. That doesn't happen with CO2 because we've cut down most of the trees. So it's concentration keeps increasing.

        And we do NEED CO2 and water and methane to keep us warm - without it, Earth would be too cold to live on. The PROBLEM is that we are increasing CO2's concentration which leads to the increase of the planets temperature, and if that keeps going, the consequences will suck. So, some countries, or unions, are trying to face the fact that man-made global warming is a problem and doing something about it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Joce:

        I don't know about you, but I see an awful lot of trees every day in my life. If you don't, perhaps you should get out more.

        I think it's a pretty big stretch to claim anything even remotely close to, "because we've cut down most of the trees". You know, it's hyperbole such as that which makes you seem to be a very poor producer of factual information and it really hurts the believability of anything you say.

        quote from Joce: -
        "The PROBLEM is that we are increasing CO2's concentration which leads to the increase of the planets temperature" -

        OK, show me some definitive prooof that CO2 causes the Earth's temperature to rise. I should also ask for proof that "we've cut down most of the trees", but I think we both know where that would end up.

        Looking back historically, there have been many times in Earth's history when the concentration of CO2 has been much, much higher and the temperatures not.

        Keep in mind also that any links I'm sure you will dig up actually show that CO2 concentrations lag behind temperature increases by about 800yrs(tough to see when looking at thousands of yrs at a time and they often appear to move in unison). However, that makes sense since the oceans release CO2 as temperatures rise which would show CO2 to be an effect of warming rather than a cause.

        Secondly, as has been stated by other posters as well, why is it then that other planets in our solar system are also experiencing warm spells? Can it be that Martians are producing too much CO2 as well?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Honestly, I believe that the taxation of emissions is pretty damn retarded. Here's an example: Around the turn of the century, New Zealand and Australia wanted to fight against the little global warming situation, especially with those two countries being very liberal(no offense to any Aussie Autobloggers). The idea was to tax farmers and ranchers on their livestock, particularly sheep and cattle. The thing is that sheep and cattle produce larger amounts of methane than other livestock. What they would do, and I highly doubt this is used for cars, is they would stick tubes down the throats and up the asses of these animals to a measurement pack in order to measure the proper amount to tax. It was an epic failure. It wasn't a couple years after the start that it was canceled.

      This, however, in my opinion, is most likely a psychological taxation. What I am saying is that the government would want the people to save money by driving less, therefore reducing CO2 emissions, and thus reducing pollution, but that's my take on it. Who knows? They could just be greedy little bastards.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Not as bad as the EU bubble has. What's unemployment in your country? What's the average wage? What's the GDP? What's the per capita income? All LOWER than poor old backward America, huh?"


      Same old pattern. Autoblog thread about a European initiative. Americans throw spears at Europeans. European retaliate. Americans act victimised.

      Look at the problems in your own back yard before you start blindly criticising others.

        • 5 Years Ago
        "Americans don't act victimized. Americans are too busy making sure that people who think they are better than Americans are free. Ever heard of World War II? Or would Europe look exactly the same today if the Americans hadn't saved their sorry asses 65 years ago? Or stood up to Soviet aggression in the 80's? Europeans are so worried about a natural change in climate that they can't see their nations being taken over from within." - Holden


        Incredible. My advice - leave your trailer park, catch a plane and see how the world actually works in 2009.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Americans don't act victimized. Americans are too busy making sure that people who think they are better than Americans are free. Ever heard of World War II? Or would Europe look exactly the same today if the Americans hadn't saved their sorry asses 65 years ago? Or stood up to Soviet aggression in the 80's? Europeans are so worried about a natural change in climate that they can't see their nations being taken over from within.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they are going to tax something like that it should be based on how much you actually drive. The biggest displacement engine with less than desirable emission readings really don't matter if they aren't being used much...conversely a smaller cleaner engine being driven 4-5 times as much could be emitting more C02.

      I guess they can't figure out a efficient/economical way of collecting everyones mileage data.

        • 5 Years Ago
        autoflogger wrote:
        I guess they can't figure out a efficient/economical way of collecting everyones mileage data."

        There is an amazingly simple way to tax people on how much gas they use. Tax the actual gas. Instead of putting more taxes on cars that use more gas on average you can tax the actual usage in real time. Per your point an economy car driving 25k miles per year is taxed less than a Hummer purchased to tow the family boat a few times a year. If you taxed gas significantly instead of cars you wouldn't have to dictate fleet fuel mileages (CAFE, etc.), people would go out and buy the most efficient vehicle that meets their needs.

        Now of course this will never get done since no politician would ever support such a tax as he'd be voted out in the next election.

        'Fork
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry rodan, but the American military and the neocon fascists behind it, far from protecting the world, is the most monstrous aggressor storming around the planet and has started more wars recently in the name of a fictitious 'democracy' than can be counted.

        Bush has gone, thank God, and a new president will, we all dearly hope, be able accept that American imperialism, dressed up as welfare help, needs finally to come to an end. All empires over extend themselves militarily and collapse, and the American empire is no different.

        As far as organising a car tax system to encourage less hydrocarbon consumption: in an energy stressed world - what's wrong with that...
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the Americans would implement such a taxation, they would probably get a broader engine choice similar to the Europeans. It just pays out more to have a small engine in such a system, leading to a more efficient form of individual transportation and less dependency on fossil fuel. what's wrong with that?
      • 5 Years Ago
      It would benefit anyone that hasn't seen it, to watch The Great Global Warming Swindle, if only to give you the opinions on the other side. There is so much money involved in this topic there is no way you can trust any reporting as being 100% factual.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ""Given that Americans emit a third of the world's pollutants from 5% of the world's population, and that this is a system which they themselves haven't devised, then it's hardly surprising they're going to be critical.""

      What a load of crap.

      American's do not produce a third of the world's pollution, or make up 5% of the world's population for that matter.

      American industry is the cleanest in the world, far ahead even of historic Europe which now includes Eastern Europe once again.

      At this time, provide a credible source for this assertion. (And Al Gore doesn't count as a credible source)

      Just more of the "blame America first" crap that gets trotted out evey time the religious mythology og global warming is discussed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The source by the way is the United States Department of Energy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I did. You're the one talking crap. Many US states don't even have safety or emissions checks on their vehicles.

        Americans get blamed after they criticise everyone else - and then they act like they're victimised. Wankers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, you do emit 25% of the worlds pollution and yes the United States is home to 305,708,000 people which is 4.53% of the worlds total population.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "rodan32, you might want to do your own research first and ask stupid questions later. In this day and age, not researching before thinking is foolish.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)"

      What's more foolish than not researching before thinking? A) Using wikipedia as an actual source for factual information and B) Posting links to wikipedia that don't exist.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A) Wikipedia has been proved to be more accurate than EB
        B) The links do exist. If you do not understand why they dont work if you click them, copy and paste.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "And as far as he US being 5% but producing 25% of the world's pollution- the US produces 25% of the world's GDP. Maybe if other country's weren't so bound by socialist governmental restrictions, they could be as productive as the US and we would haven't support so much of the rest of the world and thus lower our 'polluting'."


      You mean how Europeans give employees actual rights, and don't treat them like drones (working long hours, no stipulation to pay overtime for salaried personnel and barely any vacation pay)? No wonder Americans have a shorter life expectancy than we do.

      Your productivity has only stemmed as a result of your citizens living beyond their means after being offered disproportionate levels of credit from greedy financial institutions, resulting in catastrophic levels of bankruptcy ... and of course, that bubble eventually burst two years ago.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In case anyone else was wondering the diesel/gas comparo....so I guess a smaller gas engine like the VW twincharger (turbo and super), and small diesels would still be the cheapest, since it's about size AND co2 output.

      CO2 emissions from a gallon of gasoline = 2,421 grams x 0.99 x (44/12) = 8,788 grams = 8.8 kg/gallon = 19.4 pounds/gallon

      CO2 emissions from a gallon of diesel = 2,778 grams x 0.99 x (44/12) = 10,084 grams = 10.1 kg/gallon = 22.2 pounds/gallon
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nevermind, forgot about the oxygen in the air. Doh!
        • 5 Years Ago
        How is that possible? A gallon of gas, itself, only weighs ~6 lbs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There are a few problems with your comment. First of all, internal combustion engines also produce water. The combustion (or burning) of any hydrocarbon produces CO2 and water. Second, that water vapour will actually end up being used somehow - condensation in clouds, liquid water in a river or a lake, sucked up by a plant. That doesn't happen with CO2 because we've cut down most of the trees. So it's concentration keeps increasing.

      And we do NEED CO2 and water and methane to keep us warm - without it, Earth would be too cold to live on. The PROBLEM is that we are increasing CO2's concentration which leads to the increase of the planets temperature, and if that keeps going, the consequences will suck. So, some countries, or unions, are trying to face the fact that man-made global warming is a problem and doing something about it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry... that was supposed to be a reply to Aaron Zollo.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Given that Americans emit a third of the world's pollutants from 5% of the world's population, and that this is a system which they themselves haven't devised, then it's hardly surprising they're going to be critical.

      The CO2 registration system isn't perfect but it's a big step in the right direction, along with more stringent Euro V emissions standards. Almost all EU countries now adopt it and it means we get to enjoy the world's most efficient engine technology. In the UK, these cars - such as Ford's Fiesta EcoNetic diesel - attract low or zero annual registration/road tax charges.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You left out an important part.

        Out of that 5% poulation and 35% of the pollution(which I'd like to see figures on), the US also produces 25% of the World's GDP. I'd like to see how other countries stand up to a similar comparison.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_gdp
        I used the '07 IMF figures. Additionally, on that list, the EU hass a higher GDP, but they do also have about 200 million more people(300million US vs. 500million EU)

        It's not as though the US just pollutes and emits however and wherever we feel. The EPA does a very fine job regulating what industry can and cannot do and their regulations are amongst the toughest in the World in many respects.

        That 5% of the poulation gives the World a lot more than you give credit for and we are still at the forefront of many technologies which we spread around the World to make the whole world cleaner.

        Creating 25% of the World's GDP will allow you to do that you see.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You are dead right. I like how all the right wingnuts come out in force on this... despite being all for so-called individual responsibility.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "That 5% of the poulation gives the World a lot more than you give credit for and we are still at the forefront of many technologies which we spread around the World to make the whole world cleaner."


        Typical American - think they're better than everyone else, that the world owes them a favour and that the rest of us is in the third world.

        The topic of this thread is how Germany has joined most other EU nations in using CO2 emissions as the basis for annual road tax (registration to Americans). It works well here and coupled with an annual emissions test for all vehicles over three years old, we have a system which works well for us and enables our motor industry to develop much of the world's most efficient engine technology. Instead of a fair and balanced set of responses, the Americans on here - many of which have probably never even travelled - tear the system apart with blind insults ranging from "socialist control" to "having our sorry asses handed to us." If you're going to criticise the rest of the world, be prepared to take your own medicine without then acting like some sort of victim. It's pathetic.
    • Load More Comments