Friday, December 16, 2005


Tax new cars based upon Auto Emissions

I know that some of the readers here had an issue with my previous post regarding Displacement based taxes, so I've thought about alternatives, one being the emissions based tax.

If one looks at standard auto-reviews in a publication such as Top Gear, it very quickly becomes apparent that CO2 Emissions are listed right next to 0-100km times, power output and fuel economy. Here we have CAFE standards which are so convoluted to allow sly maneuvers allowing a revolting quantity of trucks and SUVs to be sold without penalising said manufacturers. By pushing the burden onto the consumer, it will affect the manufacturers indirectly through their choices.

If Joe consumer has to pay a tax annually (which would go to help clean up the air in general/environment) based upon the particulate emissions of their vehicle, it would definitely benefit them to ask for lower emissions producing vehicles from their manufacturers. This would also limit after market performance parts producers from taking the easy way out with mods which build dirty horsepower. Efficiency is and always has been the key to more power gains, and this would just reinforce that.

Its time we as a country, take responsibility for our choices and the effects they have on not only ourselves, but the world.


Eric, the emissions data may be published in the UK magazines such as Top Gear, but I've never noticed in US based magazines. Do you know if that info is published in the likes of Car and Driver or MotorTrend?

Another thought, what about Diesels? And I'm not talking about F250 Powerstroke monsters, I'm talking about the VW TDIs and future Diesels that may come to the US??

Interesting idea, I'd like to see what kind of feedback you get.

I don't recall seeing this information in US Auto Magazines which is something I think would be interesting.. I have seen it in several Consumer oriented type compendiums and what not, as well as Government sites which do comparisons of CO2/NOX Emissions. I'd just like to see it more wide spread much in the manner of EPA estimates and Energy Star efficiency ratings on home appliances.
As for Diesels, they actually produce (on average) less CO2 than their Petrol based brethren. The average petrol based motor uses 214g/km of CO2, as opposed to the average diesel producing 169g/km of CO2. CO2 a major contributor to the greenhouse warming issue.
The major issue with oil-burners comes from NOX emissions, which are considerably higher than their petrol relatives. The newer low-sulfur based diesel mixtures and more efficient diesel motor designs are attempting to tackle that issue.
And to answer your question regarding the displaying of emissions data for diesels, the European magazines do that as well (as the petrol models).

Eric, could you post links to the EPA or other government sites that give emissions data? That may help readers track the story better.
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