Europe Considering Raising Diesel Taxes to Gasoline Levels

Europe is already paying upwards of $8.00 a gallon for fuel, so every penny (or Euro) counts. So a proposal to raise the tax on diesel fuel to gas-like levels has some people up rightly up in arms.

The European Commissions is proposing taxing vehicles based on their CO2 output, which I think is ridiculous. Are they going to start taxing people based on how much CO2 they exhale on a regular basis? Really, there are better ways of getting people do clean up their act, like raising taxes. Right now, about half of Europe drives diesel-powered vehicles for two reasons. One, the taxes on diesel are between 10 and 20% lower than those on gasoline, and two, diesel fuel has a higher energy content and thus gets better fuel efficiency. So everyone wins, right?

Well not only does the Commission want to tax vehicles based on CO2 output; they also want to raise taxes on diesel, by taxing fuels based on energy content, rather than just CO2 output. So despite the Commission’s objections that diesel prices won’t rise, they almost certainly will, which means countries and automakers that have invested heavily in diesel will now be shelling out even more money in taxes. The difference in taxes on diesel and gasoline in Germany, for example, is €1.03 per liter for diesel and €1.22 per liter, which works out to about $1.05 difference per gallon.

This kind of regulation is ridiculous. For decades the European Union has been herding people into diesel vehicles because diesel has a higher energy content, which means more miles per gallon. I understand the desire for a “level” playing field, but this kind of regulation really hurts the regular guy. And even discussing higher fuel taxes at a time when gas prices are already rising just isn’t going to be popular with the plebeians. If there were more widely available options for alternatives, I’d be all “tax the hell out of diesel and gas.” But there aren’t, not yet anyways. If anything, diesel taxes should be lowered, and gas taxes raised. Give the people a break. Why don’t they just ban fossil fuel vehicles and be done with it? That seems to be the road that Europe (and China) are heading down anyway.

Source: The Truth About Cars

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.