Could Cars Be Taxed By Weight?

Tue 20th Oct 2020

Drivers in France will soon be taxed on the weight of their car as the government takes extraordinary measures to try and lower their CO2 emissions.

The attack on SUV’s and large cars has been coming after the World Wildlife Fund reported earlier this month that bigger vehicles had become the second biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, behind the airline industry.

Focusing on emissions from 2008 to 2018, the WWF report said “The 4.3 million sold in France in that decade have the same carbon footprint as 25 million electric compact cars.”

As many car manufacturers have aimed to push down the weight of their models, including French companies such as Peugeot and Renault, the average weight of diesel cars has actually risen by seven per cent in the last ten years, and petrol cars have risen by 14 per cent. Electric vehicles by their nature are a lot lighter and have zero emissions.

The weight tax innovation was one of 150 proposals which originated from a ‘Citizens Convention on Climate, which was set up by Emmanuel Macron and looks set to receive official governmental backing after the country’s Environment Minister, Barbara Pompili tweeted this week: “The weight tax that we're creating sends a strong and necessary message to take into account the environmental impact of the heaviest vehicles. The heavier cars get, the more materials and energy they consume, with more pollution.”