New Car 'Carbon Fee/Rebate' Takes Effect In France

Come January 1, new car buyers in France may be charged a hefty carbon fee, or conversely, receive a carbon rebate, depending upon the emissions of the vehicle they purchase. The fee/rebate is strikingly similar to a twice-failed California bill.

Beginning "January 1, any driver who buys a new car (in France) emitting more than 160 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (just over half a mile) will be charged a once-off penalty of up to 2,600 euros (3,800 dollars).

Buyers of more environmentally-friendly cars will receive a bonus of up to 1,000 euros, based on the car's greenhouse gas emissions, with an extra cash award for scrapping a polluting old vehicle at the same time."

"For the cleanest of all -- those emitting less than 60 grams of carbon dioxide, currently mainly electric cars -- the state will pay out a special super-bonus of 5,000 euros.

Penalties are expected to apply to around a quarter of all new car sales, while around 30 percent of buyers would qualify for a bonus based on current new car sales."

"Designed to steer drivers towards cleaner transport, the scheme will pay for itself, the ministry said, with the levy on polluters used to pay out bonuses for the rest."

"Plans for taxes on polluting vehicles were approved by President Nicolas Sarkozy following a four-month forum on the environment that brought together the government, industry and the green lobby."

From Palo Alto Daily News editorial:
"Assembly Bill 493 has been approved by the Assembly Transportation Committee and appears to benefit from the public's growing worries over global warming.

Transportation accounts for more than 40 percent of global warming emissions in California, said Ruskin (D-Redwood City).

Under the bill, the state would tax Peter to pay Paul. The state Air Resources Board would rank automobiles based on their contributions to global warming. Those buying autos deemed environmentally unfriendly, starting with 2011 models, would be hit with a new fee of between $100 to $2,500, which would be passed on as a rebate to those who buy greener vehicles."

"Ruskin estimated that more than 40 percent of new purchases will be eligible for a rebate and another 20 percent may not be affected at all."

Thanks to Jane Williams

Full Story: France slaps penalties on gas-guzzling cars

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