Tesla Calls Danish Tax Plan Death Knell For Electric Cars

 

Tesla to protest Danish tax policy

Currently, Danes who buy a new car must pay a 180% registration tax to the government, unless that shiny new car is electric. In that case, the tax is zero, a policy designed to promote emissions-free driving within the country. Not surprisingly, the best-selling electric car in Denmark is that Tesla Model S. A P85D today costs $137,500, but once the proposed new Danish tax plan is fully phased in 5 years from now, the 180% tax will apply to ALL new cars, and that Tesla Model S’ price will soar to more than $270,000!

Tax Minister Karsten Lauritzen says the new plan “balances the needs for the continued expansion of electric cars in Denmark, the public purse and fairness within the automobile market.” He says the new plan will add $100,000,000 annually to the nation’s coffers. “Electric cars have for a long time been better positioned than other cars by being completely exempt from the registration tax. Many regular Danes have a hard time understanding why they should pay the full registration tax for their regular cars while those who can afford an electric car have gotten off completely free,” Lauritzen said in a press release.

Tesla, whose Model S is Denmark’s best-selling electric car, expressed its immediate disappointment in the deal. “All things being equal, this is not a phasing-in of levies on electric cars but rather a phasing out of electric cars in Denmark,” said the company’s Danish spokesman, Esben Pedersen, according to Danish press outlet The Local. Pedersen says the plan is unfair because it penalizes luxury models much more then smaller, cheaper cars. The company plans to file a complaint with the European Union. “We will contact the EU because we believe that the electric car agreement is anti-competitive and singles out Tesla. The deal will hit the entire electric car model and will eliminate it instead of developing it,” Pedersen told Denmark’s TV2.

Denmark’s rethinking of its emissions policies comes at a bad time for the world community, as delegates from around the globe prepare for the next global climate conference in Paris this December. It may also give a preview of the debate facing the United States when the current federal tax credit for electric and plug-in hybrid cars expires on December 31, 2016.





About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I’m interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • 180% seems absolutely bonkers! At that point, a $40,000 car is over $110,000 … no wonder the Teslas are selling.

    • Mark

      Strikes me that it’s legalized theft by the Danish Gov Jo! Absolutely unjustifiable!

      • I … wha?? Which part is legalized theft? Is this one of those “all taxation is wrong” comments that sneaks in every once in a while?

        • Brent Jatko

          Strikes me as a blanket Libertarian “taxation is theft” statement similar to those I heard when I was in college.

          • Mark

            You are joking right? The article is about tax rates in Denmark affecting sales of electric cars. !!! You think a tax rate of 180% is justifiable? Fine!

            Let’s not discuss the balance of car taxes, let’s instead label people calling out an extortionate tax as ‘libertarian’, let’s go further and assign a straw man argument to this person like ‘all taxation is theft’, and then even further by insulting them on the grounds of this straw man argument by referring to it’s apparent ‘college roots’, not that I would buy that one anyhow.

            Bravo Brent!!

          • Brent Jatko

            I’ll keep the snark to a minimum from now on, even though it goes way against my grain.

            You’re welcome.

            Here’s another opinion on the Danish car tax from 2012:
            http://www.copenhagenize.com/2012/10/danish-180-tax-on-cars-is-rather.html

  • Jason Willhite

    Maybe I misreading the first paragraph, but it sounds like the 180% registration tax is being applied to ICE cars only, correct? When that tax plan is ‘phased-in’ in the next 5 years, that will hurt ICE sales, right? Am I missing something?

    • The exemption for EVs will be phased OUT over 5 years.

      • Jason Willhite

        Ok. The statement “but once the new Danish tax plan is fully phased in 5 years from now…” had me confused.

  • axual

    Sorry but what does Denmark offer the world? What do they build other than a dependent society which requires high taxes.

    • Wait, if you pay in a high amount of taxes, didn’t you pay for the services you get? Isn’t paying for services the opposite of dependency? (Hint: yes, it is!)

      • Mark

        You’re a troll Jo, not commenting on this site again!

        • You’re an idiot, Mark. We’re glad you’re leaving. ::smooches::

        • Brent Jatko

          Who’s being the troll, Mark?
          The person who comments about cars, or the one who comments that “taxation is theft?”

          • Don’t feed the trolls, Brent. 😉

    • Brent Jatko

      From what I have read about Denmark, it’s sort of like a (gargantuan) family; you pay a lot, in turn you get a lot, have to speak the language, it’s hard as heck to get into, and if you lose your job they’ll help you find another one.
      And outright laziness is frowned upon because culturally they’re Northern Europeans.
      I’d love to go there but I cannot get in.

      • +1 for working the word “dong” into a serious post about international shipping and trade while exploring different global cultures.

        • Dan Düring Pedersen
          • You’re no fun.

          • Dan Düring Pedersen

            Please read it again !
            You clearly misunderstood Brent Jatko when he wrote DONG, as it refers to our national energy company “Danish Oil and Natural Gas” (DONG), and NOT to animal-dropings (DUNG).

          • I get it, but you also seem to be unaware that a “dong” (in American English) refers to a male penis. So, yeah- your national energy company is a hysterical joke over here. 🙂

  • Happycrank

    It’s a little hard to feel sorry for Tesla, whose cars are priced for the 1%.

    • Joe Viocoe

      The top 15% – 20% in the US can afford a Tesla

      • Happycrank

        A $110,000 car is not affordable by the top 15%-20%, let along the $150K+ model X

        • Joe Viocoe

          The fact that you are quoting only fully optioned vehicles instead of real prices, supports the fact that you don’t even know what the top 15% – 20% earn in the U.S.

          • Happycrank

            Nope, those are the real prices, because the Tesloids tend strongly to buy all the options — because they are rich. And an income of $42,000 a yea puts you in the top 20%, and $50,000 a year puts you in the top 15%. Those people cannot afford one of your toys.

          • Fun Fact: most rich people don’t know they’re rich. They just whine a lot.

          • Joe Viocoe

            http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/income-rank/

            Nope, $105,000 per year is the top 20%, and $120,000 per year is the top 15%.
            $51,939 is the MEDIAN income in the U.S. That is the 50% mark.

            You’ve got some crazy notions about money.

            And again, no… the fully optioned price has nothing to do with what the vehicle’s true price.

          • Happycrank

            You’re just nuts. I used the census data, you Tesloid yuppie.

          • Joe Viocoe

            No you didn’t. You used some website that claims it was sourced by census data.

            The U.S. Census Bureau reported in September 2014 that: U.S. real (inflation adjusted) median household income was$51,939 in 2013 versus $51,759 in 2012, statistically unchanged. In 2013, real median household income was 8.0 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the latest recession.

          • Happycrank

            You and your rich friends are so far out of touch that you don’t even comprehend it.

          • Joe Viocoe

            Haha, I am using objective facts.

        • Brent Jatko

          An acquaintance of mine had a Tesla. I don’t know if she leased it or bought it outright (probably leased because she’s a real estate agent).

          She had to buy a truck for her new gig selling ranch land. I think she kept the Tesla because she’s a “”country girl” greenie.

          And she’s not a 1 percenter income-wise, I can assure you.

    • Joe Viocoe

      The whole concept of “income inequality”, is that the income curve skyrockets as it approaches the 1%, while much of the 0% – 80% is a fairly gentle slope before the steep impossible climb to the 1% summit.

      This leaves the top 20% with plenty of income to afford Tesla’s…. without being anywhere near the ‘stupid rich’ 1%.

  • Rich

    While this may hurt Tesla Model S sales in Denmark in the 2017-2018 timeframe, it shouldn’t hurt electric car sales unless there are no 200+ mile $35K cars available by that time. Seems like the simple answer = Tesla needs to spin up to full capacity 500,000 Model 3 cars before 2020.

    • Happycrank

      Tesla will not be selling “200+ mile $35K cars” anytime. You’ll see. This is a company that has never once met a delivery or price target.

  • RobSez

    Sometimes I think Tesla believes they are the only EV maker. They’ve definitely got the general public convinced. Ask anyone walking down the street to “name the first electric car that comes to mind”, and inevitably the answer is TESLA. I know because I’ve tried this experiment around where I live. In fact, when I asked family and friends, I got the same answer 100% of the time and they all know I’ve been driving a Leaf since 2011.

    “Death knell for the electric car”? Probably not. Death knell for Tesla in Denmark? Most certainly. Maybe , once people realize there are sub $50k alternatives, EV sales overall will get a boost. Non-EV drivers and the mainstream media would have you believe as they do. Nobody would buy an EV if we didn’t pay them to. They don’t ‘get it’ and they never will. People who drive EVs have done their homework and found electric cars make sense for them. They drive electric, especially non-Teslas, because it’s cheap fun.

    If governments feel they must give out tax incentives to promote EV technology and electric car adoption, hand over the money to those who install public chargers. Range anxiety, not purchase price, is still the number one issue that concerns consumers considering buying an EV.

    • Absolutely, 100% agree. We need real EV charging stations- not parking lots in a shopping mall to fight over.

    • Happycrank

      I own an EV, but unlike the typical pointy-headed, self-deceiving EVangelist, I bought mine because it was a) dirt cheap, and b) I am a curious car nut. Therefore, I have no reason to promote EVs, or lie about them. It’s just another sled, period.

      1. There isn’t a single EV on the market that makes economic sense. The total ownership cost of all of them is higher than the equivalent gas car, once you include all of the costs, including battery degradation and salvage value.

      2. EVs are not practical except as a second car, and even then you’d better be sure to understand that a typical EV, other than a 1%-er Tesla, will run for 40 or 50 miles on a charge in winter.

      3. Public charging is a joke. The charging speed is horrendously slow, ridiculously expensive, and usually a bad idea if you want to preserve battery life.

      EVs comprise about 0.6% of sedan sales in the U.S., and sedans are half of passenger vehicle sales here. This isn’t because of some conspiracy. It’s because EVs don’t meet the needs of ordinary drivers except in a tiny percentage of cases.

      • RobSez

        There certainly are great deals to be had on EVs if people would just look. I have to laugh when I hear people say “I can’t afford an electric car”. Most of us can’t afford a Tesla, but you can lease most other EVs for about what a comparable ICE costs and most of us definitely can afford the ‘dirt cheap’, slightly used models (and they are ALL slightly used) sitting on dealer lots everywhere.

        I have to disagree on total cost of ownership (TCO) not making economic sense. No gasoline. No oil changes. No radiator flushes and you never have to replace the whole battery pack, just bad cells. I ran the numbers on my Leaf last year as is if I had bought it new. I lease, but I’ll get to that. I took into account ALL regular maintenance, tires, etc and electricity. Then I decided to throw in replacing the full battery pack at six years. What I came up with planning to keep the car ten years, was that gasoline would have to remain at $1.11/gallon for a decade to offset the cost of driving the same number of electric miles. I average about 14-15k miles a year. Now, all of that said I don’t recommend buying an EV. Normally, in any other situation, I would say car leases are stupid. And they are. However, I think they are the best way to drive an EV. The payment is reasonable. You’re never going to exceed the allotted miles. You’re not locked in for a long period if you decide electric isn’t your thing. You don’t get raped on the resale. Also, if you like driving an EV, the technology is changing too fast and you don’t get stuck with an outdated vehicle. A good example is batteries do much better in hot and cold weather now than they used to.

        I also disagree EVs aren’t practical except as a second car. That’s what we thought when we got our first one in 2011. Pretty soohome was what we drove 90% of the time. Last February (2015) we got rid of the ICE vehicle that was costing us $500/month so we could use it for 6 or 8 trips a year. Now if we want to go somewhere the Leaf can’t reach, or charging infrastructure doesn’t exist, it’s more practical to just rent an ICE car. So our EV is not only our primary car now, it’s our only car.

        I wholeheartedly agree public charging stations in general are aweful. Fortunately, it’s almost never necessary to fully charge away from home. Also, quick charge stations are becoming more common in my area. An hour on a level-2 charger gives me about 26 real miles for about $3. A level-3 charger gives me at least 30 miles in about 10 minutes for about $2. This is outrageously high. My average full charge at home is about $1.30!

        I think the reason there are so few true BEV cars on the road, and because BEV sales are so low comes down to range anxiety. 85 to 100 miles is a LOT farther than most people think and the charging infrastructure IS getting better, albeit slowly. What I tell people who say to me they could never drive an electric because they drive too far is check your mileage daily for at least a week. If you are averaging less than 70-75 miles a day, you might reconsider EVs.

        • Happycrank

          I’m a numbers guy from hell. Former Wall Streeter, now retired. I could easily afford any Tesla, but it’s such a bad deal that I’d never buy one. Anyway, even with the dinky little experiment that I bought for — get this — $8,500 net of the tax credit brand new, the numbers don’t work. It doesn’t personally matter to me; I only write any of this ’cause once a numbers guy, always a numbers guy.

          When comparing EVs and ICEs, I do not include factors that are unaffected by the type of power plant, like tires and insurance. I compare the following: fuel, battery replacement at $200/kWh and an expected life of 100,000 miles, avoided maintenance of ICE components that are not present in an EV (again, over a 100,000 mile life), and my home state’s special $100 yearly EV tax. And I do this for directly comparable vehicles.

          Fuel favors an EV, big time: 3.7 cents/mile, vs. 10.2 cents/mile for the ICE. That’s a 6.5 cent per mile advantage for the EV. Avoided maintenance is another 1 cent/mile, for an EV advantage of 7.5 cents. The deductions are 5 cents/mile for battery replacement, and 2.2 cents/mile for WA State’s EV fee. This leaves an EV advantage of 0.3 cents/mile, which is too small to matter.

          From there, we move to salvage value. This is impossible to estimate, given the specific models involved. But we do know this: The Nissan LEAF has the worst resale value of any passenger vehicle on the market. We also know that LEAF batteries have been problematical when it comes to their longevity. As a numbers guy, I know the limits of numbers.

          There is materiality (a basic accounting principle), which is why I brushed aside the 0.3 cent/mile EV advantage. And there is the unknowable, or I should say the inability to be precise. So this is a WAG (wild-assed guess): The salvage value of my EV at 100,000 miles, even with a new battery, will be less than the ICEV’s. Maybe that’ll be wrong, but I quite strongly doubt it.

          When you write “85 to 100 miles” of range for anything other than a Tesla, this tells me that you’re a full-blown, Kool-Aid guzzlin’ EVangelist. The EPA rates the full range of a LEAF at 84 miles. EPA numbers are pretty accurate, but in use you have to use 80% of their number because of how batteries actually work. That yields an average range of 65 miles.

          And that range is going to be one-third less in a mild winter, and worse in the sort of winters you see in places like Chicago or Boston. I would not advise anyone with a commute longer than 20 miles to buy an EV unless they have a backup. Not only will winter be a problem, but the inevitable downward slope in battery capacity will reduce that 65-mile range by 15 miles or so within a few years, and faster if you top it off at public charging stations.

          So, no, when I talk to people about EVs, I tell them mine is a fun little runabout, but that buying a typical EV, which means a LEAF or a Kia Soul or a BMW i3, is not going to be a way to save money. It’ll be an enthusiast’s curiosity purchase. That’s perfectly okay — it’s why I bought mine, and I have no apologies or regrets. But it’s not a path to the mainstream.

          I don’t think a battery-powered commuter car becomes mainstream until the battery is at least 80 kWh, and the price of the car, net of actual tax credits (many buyers don’t qualify for the whole thing — dirty little secret), is a 10% discount to an ICEV, and maybe cheaper, to account for its shorter range and uncertainties about performance and resale value.

          In my ever-firmer view, the medium-term future for electric motive power will be in plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt, at least once GM can drive more cost out. Full battery cars are going to be a niche for a lot longer than EVangelists want to admit.

          • RobSez

            Awesome deal! Thanks for the analysis. Interesting reading and for the most part your numbers look realistic & fair. However, weather is the big variable.

            Where I am in middle Tennessee we don’t get the super hot battery killing days they get in Arizona or the frigid battery draining winters of the northeastern U.S. But I can tell you the battery technology is getting better. Our 2011 Leaf got 80 to 85 miles max on a perfect day if I was really focused on getting the most out of it. My 2015 model can easily do that without much effort on my part. My average daily running is 70-75 miles. I usually plug in at night with about 30%-35% battery reserve and 38-40 miles showing on the guess-o-meter. Now, except the occasional 5-8 mile hop, I avoid the interstate highways and I drive no faster than the posted speed limit. Other than that I coast whenever possible. No secret technique. It’s not unusual for my wife & I to do 90 miles on a Saturday without recharging. My longest trip was by accident. I had to detour around construction. The weather was perfect, the terrain was ideal and because of traffic I never got over 35. My round trip was 104 miles and both the battery and estimated range were showing dashes when I got home. 2011 model if the outside temp was below 30, that was also your max range. Last winter we drove into Nashville to take a friend from out of town sightseeing. The temp was 18. We got 60 actual miles before we had to charge. We plugged in to a quick charger at a restaurant (Cracker Barrel) & went inside for coffee.

            Not sure if I qualify as av EVangelist or not but I sure have a lot of fun. I don’t see the point of hybrids like the volt. First, on electric only power it’s dragging a lot of dead weight around. It seems like a maintenance nightmare waiting to happen and you still have an ICE to feed gas & oil. Before I’d do that, I’d just drive a high mileage gas or diesel and not have the cost or headache.

          • Happycrank

            I flatly do not believe your range claims, unless you’re playing the sorts of hypermiling tricks that will not survive mainstream adoption. EVangelists commonly overstate the performance of their cars. I refuse to do that, and as a result wind up in conversations like this one online.

            I’m not the p.r. guy for Volts, only for the plug-in architecture that they use. A Volt doesn’t drag around much more “dead weight” than its ICEV counterpart, the Cruze: between 100 and 500 pounds, depending on which Cruze is used for the comparison. Yes, you still “have an ICE to feed gas & oil,” but you also have a car with far more versatility.

            That said, GM needs to get cost out of the Volt. I think that will happen in the coming years. Within a decade, I think plug-in hybrids will be the rule in the sedan world. Battery vehicles will be a small niche. By the way, I like my little EV. I’m just realistic and truthful about it, that’s all.

          • RobSez

            When I learned to drive back in ancient times, I learned to drive on a manual transmission. Many of those skills serve driving an EV very well.

            Like I said before, no secret technique. Driving an EV though is about power management. I don’t punch the accelerator to the floor when a traffic light changes. I use steady acceleration and deceleration between traffic lights when I can unless someone wants to race (traffic is really bad here so it’s hard to do quick takeoffs most of the time anyway). I take my foot off the accelerator when going down hill, I take my foot off the accelerator when I see cars ahead stopped and let the regenerative braking do it’s thing as I coast. Going down very steep hills or exiting the freeway I manually engage the “braking mode” (manually engage regenerative braking) for deceleration instead of running out to the end and hitting the brakes. I avoid the interstate unless it’s necessary. When I do get on the interstate, I stay in the right (slow) lane and run 10 under the posted limit until something bigger comes along I can draft behind. Around town on secondary streets in the summer where it’s very unlikely to go over 45 mph I use “Eco Mode” while running the air conditioning. In winter, I use the seat and steering wheel warmers for short distances where I’m getting out and back in a lot (like shopping with the wife). I don’t turn on cabin heat unless I’m going more than a few miles. I drive the speed limit on surface/secondary streets. I leave early when I can and don’t get in a hurry if I need to be somewhere. That’s all I’ve got for ‘hypermiling’ techniques.

            On an average day I take my wife to work (I’m semi-retired). (13.5 miles each way exactly door-to-door) 27 miles round trip. Then I either go to class which adds 7.2 miles or the public library which is 4.2 miles. Or I go to work at my part time job which is 5.8 miles. Sometimes I go from class to the mall which is 4.8 miles from class to get something to eat on my way home. From the mall home is another 5.3 miles.

            So, I take her to work, go home, get ready, go to class, leave class and stop at Starbucks by the mall and head home. If you’re keeping track that’s 44.3 miles. Then I go pick my wife up and take her home which is another 27 miles that makes our running total 71.3 miles. Add to that maybe 3 times a week we stop by the grocery store on the way home for milk or bread or ice cream or whatever, which is 3.3 miles out of our way. 74.6 miles so far. Or, we may go somewhere to eat when I pick her up and that can vary from 3 to 8 miles depending where we go. Like I said an average day for me is 70 to 75 miles.

            We live in Murfreesboro Tennessee. On the weekends, it’s not uncommon to make the rounds shopping locally, then drive to Franklin Tennessee for more shopping, then to Green Hills (another suburb of Nashville), then on into Nashville for dinner, then maybe stop to see friends in Hermitage Tennessee or a movie in Smyrna and then home. Google it or get out a map. 85 to 90 miles round trip is normal. My mother lives near Hendersonville Tennessee. It’s about 41 miles each way if I leave from my house. I do it all the time without charging in the Spring & Summer. The usual mom trip however involves dropping my wife off at work and driving to Hendersonville, From her work to Hendersonville is about 36 miles. Then I stop to charge on my way back for 10-15 minutes in Hermitage or Smyrna, Then I pick up my wife and we go home. That’s roughly 99-102 to miles round trip depending on where I charge and assuming my wife and I don’t stop anywhere on the way home.

            I always zero the odometer when I get in the car in the morning and check my mileage both to the first charge location and then from there to wherever and home. I’ve been doing this since September 2011.

          • Happycrank

            Like I say, I simply do not believe your range claims. They are wildly out of synch with both the EPA data and what LEAF owners tell me about the range of their vehicles.

          • RobSez

            Oh well, I can’t account for other people’s experiences and I’ve never known the EPA to be right about fuel economy estimates, so I’m not going to argue the point. All I can do is attest to my own experience as I have here.

            Like I have said before, driving an EV is about learning to efficiently manage the vehicle’s power usage. In the case of the Leaf, all the tools necessary are right there on the dash. I’ve explained how I drive my Leaf. It’s not how I would drive an ICE and therein lies the issue for most people. It doesn’t have hundreds of miles in the tank and driving it like it does will only get you stranded (as expected). Driving a Leaf like a Tesla also won’t get you very far either.

            I’ve been driving a Leaf SL or SV since 2011. All total I’ve got about 63,000 miles of all electric driving. One tends to learn a thing or two in that many miles. I’m happy with my Leaf and intend to continue driving them, especially since my next one will be EPA rated at 107 miles.

          • Happycrank

            I know several LEAF owners, and none of them reports ranges anything close to what you have claimed.

      • Joshua

        Have to disagree with your finish on the EVs not being mainstream in the foreseeable future. Maybe in the U.S. this will hold true everywhere minus a few states such as California. EVs are Very practical in many smaller countries, My EV with a puny range of 60 realistic miles DOES meet the needs of 99 percent of my families driving.
        2.) Now on to your cost of ownership argument, I believe is incorrect also. My camry was costing me around 200 dollars a month in fuel and oil change cost easily, some months more near 300 dollars. My leaf cost me around 50 a month to charge. I bought my 2011 leaf for 11k, so my car should pay itself off in an easy 5 years. My battery btw is still at 90 percent capacity. In five more years it should be somewhere around 75-80 percent. This is STILL usable. Now if you could fill me in on any pitfalls im unaware of, please im all ears. BTW used EVs are becoming DIRT cheap!

        • Happycrank

          My camry was costing me around 200 dollars a month in fuel and oil change cost easily, some months more near 300 dollars.

          You’re lying. At $200/month, you’d have needed to drive 1,850 miles a month (22,000 miles a year) to spend that much money. You are a stereotypical EVangelist who cannot tell the simple truth.

    • Brent Jatko

      Subsidies for public chargers, combined with credits for R&D on better batteries, is the way to go, IMO.

      • RobSez

        I agree. I’ve been considering the higway funding vs EVs issue a lot of states are struggling with. I think I’ve stumbled across a solution that could work that would also fund R&D and/or more charging stations.

        The first problem is most states fund road work, both construction and maintenance, through gas & diesel taxes at the pump. EVs don’t pay these taxes which is unfair to ICE drivers. Unfortunately, many states like Georgia, have no clue what to tax EV drivers as their portion of the fund. The state legislators inevitably pull some random number out of their uhm… hat, that is unfair to EV drivers.

        My solution is to start by doing away with gas & diesel taxes all together. I think most Americans who drive an ICE vehicle, at least every place I’ve lived, go through some kind of state vehicle or emissions testing as part of their license plate renewal process. The testing facility records your mileage, and somewhere there has to be a record of how many miles driven this year vs last year. I propose EVERYONE, including EV drivers go through the mileage checking process. Then I think we should all be assessed a fee for each mile driven based on either gross vehicle weight or weight class. The heavy, high mileage vehicles would pay more than very light vehicles that don’t get driven much. Everybody would pay their fair share. Here’s my personal example: My Leaf weighs about what my 85 year old mother’s Buick weighs. She drives to the grocery store, the doctor and the senior center. Maybe 8 or 9 thousand miles annually. I drive about double that but currently pay nothing towards road work. New cars would pay a flat fee based on weight class. The down side is license renewal would go up and we may have to find a way to spread that cost across the whole year. The up side is some of us, like my mother, would pay less than what gasoline taxes currently cost.

        The second problem is : Are we really serious about reducing pollution? IF the answer is yes, the solution is to add 1 penny per gallon of gas and diesel back into the system to fund EV chargers and hydrogen fueling stations.

        • Brent Jatko

          The “mileage tax” you propose makes a lot of sense, but this sort of meaningful change rarely comes easily.

        • Happycrank

          Two problems.

          1. There is a group of “progressive” leftists who are anti-automobile and pro-tax, so they will want to tax some miles at much higher rates than other miles. Never, ever underestimate the appetite of liberals for raising taxes.

          2. There is no relationship between the weight of a passenger vehicle and the amount of maintenance it imposes on roads. More than 95% of weight-related pavement damage is done by semi-trucks and city buses.

  • Brent Jatko

    What is the size of the Danish auto market?

    It can’t be _that_ big.

    (Keep in mind that I say this as a resident of a nation with 300+ million people.)

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