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"This is a tax on Southern Germany, not the U.S."

German carmakers BMW and Daimler are under increasing pressure to diversify production of their sports utility vehicles (SUVs) outside of the United States as a result of Washington's growing trade tensions with China. Beijing's proposed 25 percent tax on U.S. car factory exports will hit nearly 270,000 vehicles, with German carmakers accounting for $7 billion of the $11 billion total.

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The cars represent $10 million in taxpayer money.

"You're really supposed to get a manicure using the BMWs?"

Green

The extension bodes well for automakers.

They'll continue through 2020.

Green

Norway's EV hangover leads to new proposals.

EV drivers in Norway may lose some of their privileges under new proposals.

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German prosecutors open another criminal probe into Volkswagen, this time into potential tax evasion over CO2 irregularities in about 800,000 cars in Europe.

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ProPublica has put together a very deep look at the past, present, and future of the federal gas tax, and why it hasn't been increased since 1993. The article is a fantastic read.

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In announcing his candidacy for president yesterday, Donald Trump advocated instituting a new 35-percent tax specifically on Ford products built in Mexico and imported into the United States.

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A bipartisan initiative is once again pushing for an increase in the federal gas tax, although the overall hike would simply bring the tax in line with inflation.

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Anyone even vaguely familiar with the European auto market knows that diesel-fueled vehicles take up a huge portion of the roads there. A combination of high fuel efficiency, useful torque in tightly packed cities, low CO2 emissions and tax incentives all contribute to the popularity. However, ever the iconoclasts, the French government wants the oil burners off its roads in the coming years.

Followup

News hit last week that Spyker appeared to be in trouble. Citing an outstanding tax bill, local authorities had apparently seized an array of the company's assets – including racecars, road cars, concept cars and spare parts – and were selling them off in order to pay off the company's debt. It now seems, however, that Spyker is in the clear. In a statement sent to Autoblog, Spyker CEO Victor Muller said:

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The fund that the United States uses for the maintenance of its roads is increasingly falling short, and one of the main reasons is the more efficient cars we drive today. As fuel economy improves, the amount raised by the nation's gas taxes falls, and it is those taxes that pay for much of the highway upkeep in the country. That leaves the question of how we continue to maintain the roads.

Official

Advanced-powertrain vehicle advocates in California and Maryland can rejoice over a chilled glass of Napa Valley's finest white wine and a heaping plate of Baltimore's best crab cakes. That's because both states will continue to make life a little financially sweeter for plug-in vehicle drivers. It's a short-term fix for California but potentially longer-term for Maryland.

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Raising taxes in any democratic country is tricky business, but there are certain groups on which it's easier to raise taxes than others. Smokers, for example, have a hard time making an argument against raising taxes on cigarettes. As far as the working class is concerned, raising taxes on the rich is a no-brainer. And in Germany, they may find it easiest to levy taxes against non-Germans.

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Ford is in a bit of a pickle for importing and selling Turkey-built Transit Connect cargo vans as passenger vehicles in the US, then converting them to commercial-vehicle specification stateside in an effort to bypass a 25-percent tax imposed on vehicles imported for commercial use. Automakers are required to pay a 2.5-percent tax on imported passenger vehicles.

Official

This might come as puzzling news for any Angeleno or San Franciscan whose head is ringing from the most recent batch of potholes: California has the highest state gas taxes in the country, charging almost five times as much per gallon as low-tax states such as Alaska and Georgia, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) says.

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Oregon government officials continue to consider a per-mileage tax for plug-in and highly fuel efficient vehicles. The reason? To boost road-improvement funds in one of the country's most progressive states, the Register-Guard from Eugene, OR, reports.

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The long, complicated struggle to integrate plug-in vehicles into the national fleet is playing out in the microcosm of Texas. The oil-friendly state has, somewhat under the radar, been laying the groundwork for electric vehicle infrastructure and the city of Austin is in the vanguard of plug-in vehicle advancement. While all this is going on, the state government is one that is still thinking about taxing EVs.

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The assessment of a gas tax and the role it plays in a state's transportation and overall budgets has been a topic of discussion for a while, and Virginia state governor Bob McDonnell is the latest to offer up another way to secure more revenue from the state's residents to pay for their roads and public transportation. McDonnell's proposal would eliminate Virginia's 17.5-percent gas tax entirely, with funds for infrastructure projects coming from an increase in the sales tax from five percent t

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In a move likely to cause an uproar across Portland-area coffeehouses, Oregon's state legislature is again considering instituting a per-mile tax on super-fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles. The state is looking to recuperate revenue lost because more fuel efficient vehicles on the road result in fewer dollars being collected from gas taxes.