By on February 28, 2013

The French government is planning on raising taxes on diesel fuel, branding it a “health issue”, much to the chagrin of consumers and the country’s auto industry.

France’s environment minister, Delphine Bartho, told French radio (via Bloomberg) that a study by the WHO showed that diesel fumes presented a significant health hazard, and the French government would move to raise taxes on the fuel to help soften demand.

“It’s inescapable,” Batho told RMC radio today when asked whether lower taxes paid on diesel compared with gasoline should be eliminated. “I am favorable. It’s a public health issue.”

Currently, diesel is about 20 cents cheaper per liter than gasoline, but France’s new tax regimen would bring diesel costs in line with gasoline. Originally, diesel was taxed at a favorable rate due to its use in farm equipment and heavy-duty vehicles, but the lower cost led to a massive shift towards diesel powered passenger cars. 73 percent of cars sold in France last year came with a diesel engine, compared to 55 percent on average in Western Europe.

Renault and PSA have been less than enthused with the new tax hikes. PSA is one of the world’s largest producers of diesel engines, and had criticized the studies cited by the French government, with PSA’s Director of R&D, William Faury, stating that they ignored modern particulate-filter diesel engines in favor of old-style engines.

The problem is not the diesel engines on sale now, but the pre-filter era diesels. Current Euro 5 standards for diesel engines are exceedingly tough, and PSA already has diesel powered models capable of emitting a Prius-like 100 grams of CO2 per km. PSA’s aggregate CO2 emissions level for its fleet of cars is already the lowest in Europe, at 122.5 grams per kilometer, just ahead of Toyota. And thanks to the upcoming Euro 6 emissions standards, that number should fall, as diesel NOx emissions are required to be aligned with those of gasoline engines.

While the government may be genuinely concerned about the health of its citizens, it’s hard not to see this as another cynical political calculation, similar to the now shelved plans for extremely high tax rates on France’s top earners. A hallmark of ineffective government is the use of dramatic, headline grabbing solutions, which are little more than PR stunts and rarely mistaken for solid governance. Despite the posturing of France’s current administration. A La Tribune columnist noted that the Environment minister herself admitted that diesel engines from a decade prior are the real problem, since they can emit as much as 30 times more pollution than the current crop of diesels.

To add to the matter, both PSA and Renault are in a precarious position. TTAC readers will know that the French government has been marshaled to help provide de facto bailouts to PSA and quell the ongoing labor disputes between the French auto makers and the myriad of unions entrenched in their factories. With Europe’s new car market already hanging by a thread, the diesel tax comes at a particularly bad time for France’s domestic auto industry.

 

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90 Comments on “France Hikes Taxes On Diesel Fuel, Auto Makers Protest...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Coming soon to a country near you…

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Can’t pay the bills, if they tax all the rich people they’ll just leave, so lets just slam everybody. Heaven forbid the people there do something like work 40hours a week, pay for their own healthcare, and self-reliance and all.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Self reliant people aren’t sufficiently pliable to serve the progressive cause unquestioningly. Thy must all be taxed into destitution, then told to be happy that they are able to consume more Chinese junk than their parents; as long as they do not behave in a way that prevents them from getting debt hocked to the banksters.

  • avatar
    toplessFC3Sman

    Derek! Again with the C-zero-2! I see you got the NOx correct, but its also the letter “O” in CO2

  • avatar
    taxman100

    Environmentalism is the modern tool of socialists. It can be the explanation for any and everything.

    Since younger kids have had this socialist environmental wackoism pounded into their heads since the first day of their government school indoctrination, it is getting more and more effective every year.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Correct.

    • 0 avatar
      LuciferV8

      Bingo.

      I will counter though, that the indoctrination is beginning to wear off – thanks mostly to the alt media breaking the spell with inconvenient little facts:
      http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/green-fatigue-sets-in-the-world-cools-on-global-warming-8513826.html

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        Being an eco-heretic who still wants to install PV panels atop the planned garage extension along with the no-brainer of a solar batch water heater, I see carbon dioxide emissions as the plume of prosperity and oppose any attempt to deny those benefits to my country and the rest of the world.

        And being a carbon based life form, I oppose any and all carbon based tax systems. Yes, that’s precisely what I’m implying; if that makes me a whacko, I’ll gladly double down on “I told you so” futures.

    • 0 avatar
      indyb6

      @taxman100 – So, is stubbornness and denial the tool of imperialists hiding under capitalism umbrella?

      Since most people (young or old) have this capitalism-solves-everything wackoism pounded into their heads since the day are born, and religious fanaticism rampant in every walk of life, including money (In God We Trust) and government schools (Creationism is an ‘alternative’), pledge of allegiance (one nation, UNDER GOD), is it safe to say that it is getting more and more effective every year?

      If capitalism really was the be-all and end-all of all economic systems, then there wouldn’t be a Great Depression or a financial crisis to begin with. Right? Oh noes! The gumment is the culprit. The gumment is evil. Corporations are people. Free Markets solve everything. Let the person without healthcare die. Unions are Satan’s second coming. Right to Work is the shiznit. Marriage is between one man and one woman. My God is the only God. Nerds are losers. Science is hoax. Bailout was treason. Iraq war was for freedom. Marijuana will kill you… Blah Blah Blah..

      There is enough indoctrination/agenda/hate/bullcr** being spewed by non-socialists, or should I say.. Ahem.. “True Capitalists”.

      Is it really that hard to realize that no one system is perfect (yet). And someone, somewhere will always oppose your idea/solution, no matter how well intended it is.

      My 2 cents.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        Republicans banging on about the Pledge of Allegiance must be a dying breed, why would any red blooded american pander to the ideas of a socialist? Oh and look at these pics.
        Why are they holding theire hands in this way=
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/PledgeOfAllegiance1899.jpg

        Ah, now I see, they’re saying “hi” to the flag.
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        indy,

        We don’t have capitalism anymore – we have a strain of it that has mutated into a crony capitalism where the winners raise the banner of what they want to be believe is capitalism and then when their MBA based business plan fails, are the first in line to ask for government help directly as opposed to just financing re-election campaigns of those who can give them tax breaks.

        I don’t recall anyone claiming any system is perfect, but that’s a good strawman argument if you can convince someone of it.

        Capitalism hasn’t been the prevelant way of doing business in the US in decades.

        • 0 avatar
          PintoFan

          Capitalism IS cronyism. I can guarantee you that if you point to any major technological or business success in the U.S. in the last 2 centuries, I could explain how that success could not have succeeded without some form of wealth or effort extracted from the general population either unknowingly or against it’s will. Cars themselves are the perfect example of this.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        It should really be remembered that capitalism was just a socialist’s term used to replace self determination and freedom so that an obvious virtue could be twisted into something that could later be vilified. Private property is one of the most basic building blocks of freedom. Without it we’re all just slaves living at the whims of other men. We can never own the product of our labor, or benefit from the strength of our minds without the ability to retain property and use it as we wish. Capitalism is merely a word for private property rights that separates the ignorant from the plainness of their virtue. Progressives exist to eliminate the middle class and return the general population to subsistence serfdom or the ground. They use lies like capitalism being a cost to society and the sky is falling to herd the sheep to slaughter.

        • 0 avatar
          indyb6

          CJ – Ask Native Americans, who, by the way are still called ‘Indians’ by this educated population, about those building blocks of freedom.

          If Progressives really exist to eliminate the middle class and return the general population to subsistence serfdom or the ground, it would have already happened. Such blanket statements are always provoking but lack any real evidence.

          On a similar note, can I make a claim that Conservatives exist only to conserve some elusive utopia that exists only in their dreams and that they are the ones who will be responsible to make corporations usher a new era of slavery and serfdom that surpasses anything any barbaric ruler ever managed to do.

          Sensationalism has its place.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The Progressives had far more luck in the Soviet Union, the Third Reich, the People’s Republic of China, and any of a number of other places where concepts like land reform were used to kill millions.

            Native American Indians are perfect examples of what happens without private property. They existed at the whims of their leaders until such time they existed at the whims of societies that had advanced far further through the benefits of private property rights. Just the debate about what to call them is a joke. America was named for Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian. How can there be any more dignity in being named for a foreigner than in being misnamed by a foreigner? Anyway, communities without private property are just victims groups.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Thank you CJ. People have to learn the basics somewhere, since they don’t teach them in college anymore, much less high school.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Left is the original application of political spin. Previously, the division was between right and wrong. Enter moral relativism.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        There was no “Great Depression” prior to our descent towards progressive dystopia. All that came about AFTER the government took control of money. After the Federal income tax. After he government had already used blood extracted from taxpayers to fight at least one war in Europe, so that the progressives could preen around and pretend to be useful for something other than target practice.

        Corporations are not people. The only institution who can force others to treat them as such, is, tah-dah, an all powerful government. Who’d have thought! Free people are free to spend their money as they see fit. If that means hookers and blow rather than doctors bills, who are you to force their hand?

        Unions are fine. Government legislating special privilege for unions, or for corporations, or for “protected classes” or for those with a “banking license (from government)” is not. All men created equal; equal under the law, and all that Jazz; that to non progressives actually mean something more than feelgood babble to pick up third world “sexually oppressed” girls with.

        Anyone has the right to work. Noone has the right to take other people’s stuff and call it their own salary. Marriage is exactly no business of any government. Anywhere. Ever. Not between one man, one woman. Nor one man and another man. Nor one man and three hundred handicapped children. None, period.

        And your God, the Government, sure as heck ain’t the only God. And nerds are NOT just there to work hard and pay taxes, so that slick talking lawyers can preen around and claim to “lead” them.

        The goal of science is to come up with a way to prove that what it currently teaches, is a hoax. That how it progresses. Applied to government, that means allowing as many people as possible the opportunity to organize themselves differently from the current government, so that perhaps one or more of these organizations can prove that the current way of doing things, is not the best way. That way government will progress “scientifically”. Suppressing this, is antiscience in it’s purest form.

        Bailing out well connected banksters with blood squeezed from hard working “looser nerds”, is treason. Morally, all those involved in it, along with all those supporting it, should simply be fair game for liquidation.

        Only overgrown governments with way too much taxing power, can afford to fight wars. Whether against Iraq, Germany, or Southern States. And again, only overgrown governments with way to much taxing power can afford to maintain a ban on anything, including marijuana.

        limited government means just that. How much power and influence did Jefferson have over some guy living in what is now Wyoming back then? That’s about a proper government/citizen relationship. It’s been downhill ever since. Thank goodness more civilized peoples are outbreeding “us”, and will inherit our earth; as promised.

        And in case you haven’t noticed, your two cents have been inflated away. They are no longer worth anything.

        • 0 avatar
          rnc

          “Nor one man and three hundred handicapped children.” While I dig most of your gist, that one crosses a line, unless you spend most of your quality time surfing Usenet or something.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I am firmly of the opinion that a man should be able to marry his dog, as long as his dog wants to marry HIM. If stuki can find 300 hand-capable kids who freely want to marry him, so be it.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            krhodes1, you are going to have a hard time finding a lot of agreement on dog-marrying, I predict. Your best bet is Norwegians, from what I have read on this site. Still, if I had to marry one, I think it would be a golden retriever, so I could say my wife was a “fetching blonde.” Also, if it was legal, you could say your wife was the sweetest, most loyal bitch you ever owned, and no one could say a damned thing.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          “There was no “Great Depression” prior to our descent towards progressive dystopia. ”

          Yes, because clearly we had no economic downturns prior to the 16th Amendment. The rest is TL;DR and not to be taken seriously given the lack of credibility in the first sentence.

        • 0 avatar
          PintoFan

          Pro-slavery blathering on a website about cars? I think we’ve reached our new low.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I’m less convinced that green tech is being used as a tool, so much as it is being used as a religion.

    • 0 avatar
      E46M3_333

      Yep. Classifying CO2 as a pollutant was the real coup. Now your very existence; every breath you exhale is a threat to those around you.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Typical government move. Induce the public into committing their money on a purchase based on the current tax structure, then when you’ve lured enough in, slam the trap shut.

    • 0 avatar

      You’re absolutely right. In BRazil, the guv lured people into flex fuel cars (can run on gas or ethanol) by keeping taxes on ethanol low. People responded buying the new cars. At some point ethanol started outselling gasoline. What happened? Ethanol prices went up so much that now, except for São Paulo State (that still keeps taxes on ethanol artificially low) nowhere is it economically worthwhile to fill up with ethanol.

      Then we had a couple years ago the natural liquified gas craze. Many people converted their cars with guv incentive to gas. Almost all taxiss converted. Suddenly, and of course, the guv raised the prices again. And all the fools who had made holes in their cars to install the tanks, the wasted time, lost capacity in the trunk, suddenly, no sense anymore.

      Sadly, I live in BRazil, I know all about these guv schemes. My advice: sit tight, the game will soon reverse.

  • avatar
    LuciferV8

    The French people voted this kind of madness in, and they deserve every bit of what they are going to suffer through.

    Also, did Peugeot really come out with a diesel mill called FAP?
    Heh.
    Oh wait, now I know why they chose that name:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Peugeot_908.jpg

    FAP indeed.

    • 0 avatar
      fabriced28

      French use French words, as bizarre as it may sound. Filtre A Particules simply means particulate filter (DPF in English or German)

      • 0 avatar
        LuciferV8

        BZZZZT! Wrong answer dude.

        First, everybody knows that people in France speak just like us, only in funny accents.

        Second, it turns out that FAP is actually an acronym for Fueled (by) Any Puppies.

        Peugeot has been working for years on a duel fuel engine that works on both diesel fuel and puppy power.

        There’s actually a small compartment for a puppy-sized hamster wheel on several new Peugeot models, including the 406, 808, 787B, Falcon XR8 and Sandero. This wheel is hooked up directly to a parallel hybrid drive setup.

        According to the engineers at Peugeot, it allows the car up to a 120% gain in thermal efficiency as well as up to 97 MPG fuel economy.

  • avatar

    Good that way the Europeans will be forced back into gas cars. And maybe France’s buildings and monuments won’t have so much black soot on them the next time we go there.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      I have not been to Europe but I believe the black soot has been there since before the internal combustion engine. Wood stove’s I believe.

    • 0 avatar
      AMC_CJ

      Is this comment serious? The soot’s been there since before 1900′s; long before evil diesel cars roamed the roads. I’ve seen the same in Scottland. They clean off the first few ground floors, and let the rest of the soot sit there for a century.

      And if you were serious, you are actually the kind of sheep these people are hoping to oppress with these excessive taxes, regulations, etc. The air quality in those European cities have been far better in the past 50 years than the 100 years that came before that. But people alive today didn’t live like that, and thus have no idea what it use to be like. When I was over there I was amazed at how content the people were with barely-meager living standards. But they didn’t know any better, and have no clue how much better it could be.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s half joking, half serious. Some European friends I have put the soot problem on diesels. Others don’t. As I prefer a gas car I decided to knock diesel a little. I know lots of people prefer diesels. For the economy, for the torque. I prefer gas, for the noise, the revs. To each his own.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          “I decided to know diesel”

          Now that is how you pen a pun.

        • 0 avatar
          MeaCulpa

          The soot problem are of the “inhale and get cancer or severe allergies” variety, not the “pittoresque milieu” variety. That soot is part of what’s called history,you don’t take a pressure washer to a building or monument of some cultural and historic value.

          Equalizing the tax on diesel and petrol seems like a grand idea, sadly they opted for the increase instead of decrease.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            When I went and visited cousins in Bordeaux a year ago or so, a beautification process was in place. Many of the old buildings were being cleaned and repaired.

            Bordeaux is a beautiful city. I would think and hope that the cleaning has stopped so the French could spend their money on better things.

            I couldn’t believe the swearing (in english) by my cousin driving, she was vulgar. I even starting turning red in the face, from laughing.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    After walking the streets of Paris for 3 days a couple of summers ago and breathing that shit they call air I can completely understand this. Monaco was worse.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    So the proper answer to the pollution problem would be a registration tax that penalizes the older tech, using the proceeds to incentivize the purchase of the newer tech. Especially effective since it would help prop up PSA and their cleaner diesel engines. Unless the real purpose of the tax is to fill depleted govt cofers.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      +1 now we are talking!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I couldn’t disagree more, you’re effectively creating a tax to encourage planned obsolescence, not to mention encouraging more DEBT on the part of consumers by penalizing them for utilizing the assets they OWN after a time period.

      Not claiming to have a “magic bullet” response to the problem, but taxes are never the answer, just transfer payments from consumers to the gov’t mafia.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Agreed. This is one of those completely immoral ideas that actually plays in Europe these days. It undermines society’s foundations and people’s ability to be secure in their earned comfort, depriving workers of the fruits of their labors and returning the ways of feudal serfdom.

        • 0 avatar

          It also goes a long way icentivating people to purchase now something they’ve been putting off. Create a market for something that was not there. We have a little experience with that in Brazil BTW

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            And for people that aren’t making new car purchases because they can’t afford them? People that are retired on fixed incomes? Not only is this policy fundamentally evil, it also is one of the building blocks of unsustainable government as it eradicates the freedom to be left alone.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Indeed.

            C4C.

          • 0 avatar

            Cj, though I don’t think it’s particularly evil I basically agree with you. If people ask me I tell them to sit it out cause it won’t last, and if the market is so bad, the market will adjust even a more than the supposed cuts or hikes. In this particular instance, a hike in taxes, specially fuel taxes leads to further depression, specially with all the other things you mention. But that’s what democracy is for, going on with these policies, they’ll get thrown next election. when people are hurting, eco speak does not go deep.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        Assuming that the pollution problem is real and needs to be addressed (granted, a major assumption), what is to be done? Is it fair to fellow citizens to let them be poisoned by the effluent of the old tech when new tech will mitigate the problem? Is that being left alone? Does that not deprive others of the fruits of their health? Certainly, incentivizing a transition to new tech is less onerous than a tax on all diesel owners, and more likely to stimulate the economy. The difference in registration fees need not be massively burdensome in order to be effective.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Like I said I don’t have a magic bullet. Whenever I hear arguments about “everybody’s health” or “the environment affects us all” I immediately see the “ism” and know whatever comes next is not in my best interests as a free citizen.

          Playing devils advocate, if there was really some sort of environmental crisis, mathematically you could calculate the safe amount of pollution per cubic mile, and then come up with an aggregate of how many devices (cars, trucks, equipment, homes etc) can emit in a 24 period to reach the safe amount figure. Then you could… ban/remove the excess X devices? Ha gotcha! No way would I advocate for removal of the devices, I would argue for the removal of the excess *people* in said region using the devices. In the case of France, maybe they should examine the legions of freeloading immigrants their progressive heroes let in over the last fifty or so years. Excess people is the elephant in the room, friend.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            So the answer is to “decrease the surplus population”, Mr. Scrooge? Very Christian of you.
            Continuing with the massive assumption that this is a problem demanding attention and not just an attempt to Hoover up addl tax dollars under the guise of saving the children, what else have you got in your gun, magic bullets being nothing more than wishcraft? Using market forces (not govt seizures) to encourage the transition from dirtier tech to cleaner tech puts the onus on the polluter while mitigating the cost of replacing equipment. As long as it’s revenue neutral so that it’s not a money grab by the govt, it seems like a reasonable way to clean up the environment.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Generally speaking I don’t have an answer and I don’t think there is an easy one to population issues, the best non-lethal suggestion I can think of would be to resettle the excess to other areas. When did I become Scrooge for stating the obvious (unless of course that’s Scrooge McDuck woohoo!)?

            In the case of Paris, it covers an oval measuring 86.928 km2 (34 sq mi) in area according to Wikipedia, and has a population of 2,234,105 according to Google… so that’s 65,708.79 people per square mile.

            For some contrast, New York City has a 2011 estimated population of 8,244,910 over 302.64 square miles (wiki), or 27243.29 people per square mile. So forgot emissions you have… 38,465.5 people per square mile *more* than New York City using up food, fresh water, electricity and other finite resources in the region, and you would argue excessive population is not part of Paris’ pollution problem? Everyone could be driving unicorns that emit rainbows out the rear and you’d still have significant pollution problems that would never be resolved by incriminating free citizens who don’t tow the greenie-commie line.

            “Using market forces (not govt seizures) to encourage the transition from dirtier tech to cleaner tech puts the onus on the polluter while mitigating the cost of replacing equipment.”

            Well you original suggestion was taxes/gov’t intervention, so now were onto market forces? I’ll bite. If there was some kind of cheap and effective technology that would mitigate this problem I suspect most people would voluntarily flock to it, but I do not think gas/diesel hybrids or electric cars have reach the point where the average person can easily afford them without subsidies.

            Again with France, if somehow business leaders and/or gov’t were able to build industry, employ people, and subsequently generate wealth, than they could afford those greenie toys and thus slowly mitigate Paris’ pollution issues. Its far different to give people choice and opportunity for economic growth than to simply decree private property be banned or replaced.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “In the case of France, maybe they should examine the legions of freeloading immigrants their progressive heroes let in over the last fifty or so years.”

            Umm, do you even know anything about France? If anything, the French have had very very strong anti-immigration policies for most of those 50 years. France has about an 8% foreign born population. Even lily-white Sweden has 12%, and Switzerland is about 24%. Moreover, about half of all immigrants to France these days are other Europeans (EU+Turkey is almost 50%).

            Furthermore, if France had let in more immigrants (under the EU rules, France had an exemption for a period of time), their economy would probably be doing better. German also had the exemption, and they are feeling the pain because those foreign workers would have come with skills that Germany needs. They are desperately trying to get more mechanical and industrial engineers into Germany now.

            I get that TTAC often functions as an AM radio echo chamber on these sorts of threads, but trying to apply that propaganda to France, much less the US, is rather misguided.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m not really up on the current affairs of France, I just seem to recall huge riots seven or eight years ago undertaken in great part by an immigrant population. You’re figures may indeed be correct but regardless of who they are, there are a greater number inhabitants of the city of Paris per square mile than New York City, and that speaks volumes about the sustainability of Paris.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “I’m not really up on the current affairs of France, I just seem to recall huge riots seven or eight years ago undertaken in great part by an immigrant population. ”

            Yet, you ignorantly choose to make an incorrect statement that so-called “progressives” are the ones that resulted in there being immigrants in France. This is why the lazy labeling that passes as political argument on TTAC is annoying. Trying to apply American-style terms to politics in other countries is usually a bad idea (I can’t wait to see the Australia thread with TTACers complaining about the Liberal Party).

            If you instead chose to educate yourself, you’d know it wasn’t “progressives” that resulted in the initial burst of immigrants into France (largely from French colonies), but rather the business interests after WWII that realized that the war had decimated the potential workforce. But no, you had to make a poorly thought-out cheapshot.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    People do not buy diesel just because the fuel is minimally cheaper. The engines are more efficient and MUCH nice to drive than a typical equally efficient gasoline engine car. Any savings of tax is gravy. It is not like it is a huge difference, it’s a dollar or so a gallon on $10/gallon fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Show me the data that supports your opinion and you’ll change my mind. Europeans aren’t stupid even though many of their governments are.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Have you DRIVEN a modern turbo-diesel? The difference in fuel cost on a percentage basis in France is like the difference between regular and premium gas in the US. How many people let the requirement for premium sway their purchase decision? Why wouldn’t you buy something like a BMW 320d that can do 150mph, 0-60 in 7sec, AND get 40mpg if you could? Same performance as my 328i, 10-15mpg better fuel economy. The savings on a liter is just gravy.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          “How many people let the requirement for premium sway their purchase decision?”

          A shocking number of clueless people let premium vs. regular sway their purchase decision. The percentage difference is immaterial these days (even if it might have been relevant when gas was around 80 cents/gallon in parts of the South in the late 90s), but people still bitch about it and cheap out.

          The extra 20 cents is silly to worry about. You’d be better off cutting your Starbucks habit if your goal was to spend less money.

          People who worry about regular vs. premium during a car purchase should be buying a car that costs at least 1/3 less in the first place.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          Again, show me the data.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        aka, I’m too lazy (a) to notice that an equivalent size diesel engine gets higher mileage per gallon than an equivalent size gasoline one, and (b) to know that diesel engines have a broader torque curve in typical European driving?

        Considering that this particular issue has been discussed in post after post at TTAC in the past, I’m not sure why you need data to state the obvious or to re-verify what’s easily verifiable with minimal independent inquiry.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    With some 73% diesel sales they could stand to loose a bit. 50-50 would be OK. I guess easing up the gas taxes to achieve that and relieving the pressure on tax payers is out of the question though :-(

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    How the hell can diesel be as expensive when it is essentially unrefined fuel?
    Give me a break.. I remember when it was alot cheaper.. not just 10-20 cents.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      It’s still supply and demand regardless of how refined the fuel is. Bunker C, which is more like tar and can only flow when heated; used to be dirt cheap until it started to compete with plastics for the same petroleum feedstock in the 1960s. Prices rose as a result, so usage fell.

      That same barrel of crude oil is refined one way or the other to get the wanted byproducts out of the refining process. If diesel fuel was not needed; it would be refined into something else.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      ULS Diesel I imagine requires a great deal of refining and since (diesel in general) it is used in massive quantities in transport, heavy machinery, industries you wouldn’t think (like paper production) etc, while despite there being flexibility in refining processes there is only so much you can get of a particular product out of a particular type of oil* and you get more gas than diesel.

      *Reason why Brent Light Sweet Crude sells for $20-$30 more/barrel than that crap from Venezuela (heavy, super high sulpher, actually incredibly toxic, not that any crude oil in general isn’t, just what they’re pumping out is nasty). Venezuela stuff is great for making asphalt, heavy fuel oil and heating oil, the requirements to refine into more desirables are very complex and expensive, thus the significant discount.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      You think that diesel fuel is basically unrefined fuel? Your user name overstates what you speak. If you’ve said Marine or Heavy fuel oil you would have at least earned your name.

  • avatar
    volvo driver

    Wouldn’t you just love to breathe this stuff?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv6ak6MZXPA

    On the plus side, higher taxes on diesel in Europe means we’ll be exporting less refined diesel bringing the price in the US down. Win win in my book.

  • avatar
    MeaCulpa

    Sometimes I get the feeling that some degree of flame baiting is provided by the editors of this site. Meanwhile some of the posters might do themselves a favor by decreasing the amount of time listening to AM radio and watching Glen Beck. I like the comments section of this site but it’s rapidly approaching a point were every other post contains something or other about “progressives”, Hitler, Socialists, “the country is going to hell” or something ells indicating an aversion against mainstream political science (all this the progressives are Nazis/Commies/Babykillers malarkey) or just plain science (global warming is BS ’cause some loud guy shouted it), the DNC, liberal views and what not. I sincerely wished that I could be “fair and balanced” but there isn’t anybody trying to be a knockoff Bill Mahr or rehashing Huffington Post pieces in the comments section, it has simply been transformed to some kind of soapbox for people harboring a very specific subset of “conservative” views to the detriment of the site .

    I just wanted to borrow the soapbox for a minute.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      “people harboring a very specific subset of “conservative” views”

      You didn’t see the Bitter Old White Men sign over the door?
      But don’t take us too seriously… look at the oxygen tanks & wheelchairs they keep in the corner.

      Spent force. You’re safe here.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Yeah, all I usually see in these types of threads are people who are likely in the 47% that don’t pay income taxes complaining about people in the 47% who don’t pay income taxes. They generally need to be hit with a fact stick and couldn’t make a cogent argument to save their lives. Instead there is a lot of name-calling and label-abusing.

    • 0 avatar
      PintoFan

      Most of the people you’re talking about aren’t actually sincere. There’s just ideologically committed to defending one side of a political argument, irrationally, for all eternity. They consider it a victory when the language they use is simply so outlandish that nobody bothers to respond.

  • avatar
    spw

    but Euro VI diesels still emit a lot of pollution… a lot more than gasoline engines. For instance minimum with NOx, practically they will emit up to 8x more. Particulates are same as in Euro V but none in petrol. HC+ NOx was reduced only by 30% in Euro VI.

    Although the headline is technically correct, as you stated later, they had special low taxes for diesel, as clean diesel is actually more expensive than gasoline. So basically they will even out the taxes, thats it.

    Plus PSA and Renault have nice small turbo petrols out that get good mpg and power…

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      In the linked article, a particulate filter expert claims that particulate emissions of diesels are now lower than that of gasoline engines. Impressive if true, but I’m going to need a second opinion to believe it.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Easy there PSA… Commercial operators will pass the hike off to their customer base via fuel surcharge.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Hollande requires money to feed his government funded economic revial (don’t know how that works). Fuel tax would be the easiest to target, a simple stroke of the pen.

    Do diesels really pollute more? Think about this, by the hp, yes. But a diesel of equal hp to a gasoline engine is much more powerful due to torque.

    So what a V8 can do a 3 litre diesel can do. It might not be as quick but it will use a lot less fuel and emit alot less pollution.

    A 1.6 litre diesel replacing a 2.0 litre gas engine puts out less CO2. I can’t be specific on NOx, but from what I’ve read it would be similar.

    How much tax is on diesel in France compared to gasoline?

    • 0 avatar
      fabriced28

      All wrong on the technical side. If it’s not as quick, it cannot do what a V8 can do. Usually today with all turbocharged engines (90% of the market I would guess), a 1.6 diesel will replace a 1.6 gasoline on quite equal terms. And NOx will be waaaay higher (8-10 times). So yes, they do pollute more.

      Diesel fuel tax per liter is about two thirds of gasoline tax.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @fabriced28
        As soon as the V8 petrol outperforms the diesel it will pollute more ie, the gas engine will have to work much harder to achieve the same work.

        A 3.5-4.0 litre V6 will probable be similar in acceleration to a 3.0 diesel. But the V6 has to work harder ie more rpm to achieve the same. This equals more pollution. A V8 will produce more CO2 and NOx that a 3.0 litre diesel normally.

        The NOx level you describe are prior to the after treatment. I’m not sure if the NOx levels are as high as you describe.

        Also what are the age of these diesels? Are they the older ones with the higher compression ratios. Newer diesels are down to 15.5:1. This plays a big role in NOx as well.

        Have a read on how the Cayenne 4.2 diesel, look at its power output versus it mpg’s. It’s a remarkable engine.

        I do know that diesel produces more NOx by capacity, but I’ve read the difference isn’t nowheres as great as what you described.

  • avatar
    fabriced28

    Caveat: I’m French.
    As correctly identified by Bertel, the problem of pollution of new cars is a mirage: it’s mainly being taken care of through european regulations, not fuel tax. Nevertheless, increasing taxes on Diesel fuel remains one of the two solutions to reduce its use throughout the market, new or used (the other being as stated by some, a specific road tax, but this doesn’t exist in France and would therefore be even worse politically).
    And believe me, France has a real pollution problem with these fine particles, especially during winter (combined with wood/fuel boilers fine particles) and summer (combined with ozone pollution, also from diesel engines). Paris and the whole south-east region are basically under pollution limitations for 1-2 months each season.

    In most countries, diesel fuel is either taxed based on volume (same as gasoline) or on carbon content (higher than gasoline). In France, tax is lower than on gasoline, which makes no sense whatever way you look at it.

    This trick has created a public health problem, but also a powerful lobby: it helped truck drivers/companies against train fret, and Joe Public does not choose anymore between the two fuels, they just go to the dealership and buy diesel. Even for city cars that then run into trouble because they cannot burn their DPF.

    It’s more than time to act against that. Though PSA will definitely get into trouble with that. Maybe they could say to the EC: we create a disadvantage towards PSA so we should be allowed to help it financially as a compensation?

    Footnote: Nobody (regulations included) ever looks at the composition of the burning residues of DPF. I cannot imagine for one second that these are benign. My opinion, though controversial, is that even with new regulations, even with DPF, Diesel-engined cars produce more pollutants than they should. Particles go out of the valves, they don’t magically disappear in the filter, they get burnt, which usually results in some kind of particle (again).

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @fabriced28
      I don’t know the significance of DPF. I also think someone would have done some form of analysis of this process. This process of using a ammonia based chemical for the catalytic process started in the 50s. Its been around for a long time.

      As for your photo chemical pollutants (particulates). Just look at satellite imagery of the NE of the US and then look at Europe. The US has a lot more photo chemical pollutants even though the population densities smaller over a given area.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    “The problem is not the diesel engines on sale now, but the pre-filter era diesels. Current Euro 5 standards for diesel engines are exceedingly tough, and PSA already has diesel powered models capable of emitting a Prius-like 100 grams of CO2 per km. PSA’s aggregate CO2 emissions level for its fleet of cars is already the lowest in Europe . . .”

    CO2 emissions are irrelevant. What is the difference in particulate emissions?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @rpn453
      The link below is a working document by our government (Finance Dept) on the implementation of Euro V & VI, it’s could be deemed boring.

      But you seem to be correct in assuming the problem is caused by older diesels, we have the same problem.

      But what I found amazing is that it appears this is a money grab by Hollande. In Sydney only 12% of particulates can be attributed to human activity, the rest comes from nature.

      It might be worth finding out what the “natural” particulate count is for Paris.

      But it did state that ultra fine particulates are higher near heavily trafficated roads, it didn’t give an indication of the increase.

      Also the acceptable/mandated particulate count for Euro V & VI (extremely low) is the same. The biggest change is in NOx.

      Also, I find it amazing that the US is paying alot for their Add Blu systems. Our finance department figured to move from Euro IV to Euro V would add an additional $630.00 per vehicle and to move from Euro V to Euro VI will add another $87.00 (that’s AUD)

      http://ris.finance.gov.au/files/2011/07/02-RIS-Euro-5-6.pdf

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @rpn453
    This got me thinking, I do realise diesels emit particulates.

    In Melbourne the particulate count is higher than Sydney due to human activity. Now Melbourne has significantly less rainfall than Sydney.

    How many particulates are “natural dust” and are lifted by traffic?

    A similar senario for Paris, except Paris is very developed with little open space (greenery) compared to an Australian city for the particulates to leech back into the ground.

    More traffic equals more particulates even if they didn’t originate from a vehicle.


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