France is planning a special tax for particularly heavy cars such as SUVs, which would affect German manufacturers in particular. The plan is to tax every kilogram above a vehicle weight of 1.8 tons with an extra ten euros. Electric and hybrid vehicles will be exempt from the tax since they can be very heavy because of their drive systems.
The SUV tax would most affect Mercedes, Porsche and Audi. French carmakers would be less affected, and it seems a little too conveniently exempt. Renault and Peugeot have bestselling SUV models that weigh less than 1,800 kilos but are still heavier than the 1,400 kgs suggested by the citizens’ convention that initiated the proposal. Range Rover will face the most penalties amounting to an additional payment of 8730 euros with a total weight up to 2673 kilograms.
While combustion engines are logically targeted here, the question is for how long particularly large private fully electric and hybrid SUVs will be spared the same scrutiny due to their excessive use of space, energy and limited resources, and in the case of PHEVs, often do not deliver the CO2 savings promised.
“The increase in weight of the vehicle fleet means more material and energy consumption, more environmental pollution and less available public space,” tweeted the French Minister for Ecological Transformation, Barbara Pompili. “The weight penalty that we are introducing is a strong and necessary signal in order to better take into account the ecological footprint of the heaviest vehicles.”