France to Tax Cars Weighing More Than 1,800 Kg

The French government remains engaged in its fight to reduce the pollution of its automobile fleet. After measures such as the bonus/malus system, the imminent reform of the registration tax to increase the burden on the most polluting models, or the succulent aid granted to electric cars, now comes a new tax for heavier passenger cars (and with it less efficient).

The Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, affirms that this measure will constitute a necessary and robust signal to consider the ecological footprint of heavier cars, noting that the greater the weight, the more materials, and energy consumed, the more pollution and less public space available. Therefore, many have seen this proposal as an anti-SUV regulation.

Although all the details are not yet known, it is known that the affected vehicles will be those that weigh more than 1,800 kg, with electric cars, hydrogen cars, and plug-in hybrids being exempt, as well as those bought by large families that may need a vehicle oversized to meet your space needs (seven-seater minivans, for example).

SUVs in segments B and C, the lightest, will not be impacted by this measure, aimed mainly at the higher categories. However, some environmental groups have denounced that the initial objective was to tax passenger cars with weights greater than 1,400 kg, a proposal that has finally been diluted, probably so as not to damage the sales of the most popular models of their national brands (most of the SUVs sold by Renault, Peugeot, and Citroën are small and medium).

The French government’s efforts to promote the purchase of smaller and more efficient vehicles contrasts with the trend followed by European manufacturers, who are betting heavily on profitable SUVs in parallel with a gradual abandonment of segment A (urban) for the low-profit margin of this type of vehicle. Is it time to create more advantageous taxation for small cars in the US, as countries like Japan or India already do?

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