What makes the most sense to encourage sensible and environmental driving habits in Germany while not punishing people who buy high-end cars? Guido Reinking, the editor of Automobilwoche, writes in Automotive News (subs req'd) that vehicles should not be taxed when sold/bought, but that each liter of fuel should be stuck with a higher levy. Reinking writes:
The burning of every liter of gasoline emits 2.32 kilos (about 5.1 pounds) of the presumed greenhouse gas CO2. The person using that liter should be charged accordingly. Benefits would accrue to anyone who may have a high-performance car in his garage but who uses his bicycle to go to the bakery or post office. The full-throttle fraternity pays extra, but anyone who drives reasonably and economically saves. This also could promote the purchase of second and third cars. Go shopping in the city in your Mini; go on vacation with the family in your 5 series or S class.

Is this guy working both sides of the car/environment debate or what? Give the environmentalists a little something while encouraging more car purchases. He also says that fuel in Germany, at about $6.75 a gallon, is still too expensive. There's much more in the original article. Check it out if you've got a subscription.

[Source: Guido Reinking / Automobilwoche]

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