The new tax will be part of the government’s 2021 finance law.
The increase in the vehicle fleet is more materials and energy consumed, more pollution, – available public space. The weight penalty that we are introducing is a strong and necessary signal to better take into account the ecological footprint of the heaviest vehicles
– Barbara Pompili (@barbarapompili) October 15, 2020
The idea of taxing by weight, in particular less ecological vehicles such as SUVs, follows a suggestion from the Citizen’s Convention on the Climate and the ecology NGO WWF France. Both have called for “the weight issue” to be taken into account when it comes to tax breaks and penalties for vehicles.
Read more: The French president abandons the climate idea to reduce speed on the motorway
The Citizen’s Climate Convention called for “a sharp increase in fines for polluting vehicles and to introduce weight as one of the criteria to be taken into account”. He originally suggested a tax of 10 per kg for any weight above the 1,400 kg threshold.
Instead, the government set the threshold at 1,800 kilograms.
The plans contrast with the views of Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, who said in September The echoes: “In the current economic context, I do not want any tax increase, and I want to protect industrial jobs, factories and the purchasing power of the public.”
No tax for hybrid or electric vehicles
The tax will not be based solely on weight.
Electric vehicles and hybrid models will not be taxed, nor will “family vehicles” – such as vehicles larger than a family owns due to the size of their household – the government said, although they weigh over the limit. It is believed that the tax will primarily target heavily polluting SUVs that are primarily used by one or two people.
Isabelle Autissier, president of WWF France, had previously called on the government to take weight into account when buying a new vehicle.
She said: “If you get around in a car that weighs 200 kg more, it emits 20% more greenhouse gases.
Figures from WWF France show that SUVs account for more than 38% of vehicle sales in France. Earlier this month, the NGO denounced SUVs for their “crushing” impact on the environment.
He said that a decade of growing SUV use in France had “weighed heavily on the French trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions,” and that “over the past 10 years, SUVs have been the second largest contributor to the economy. ‘increase in French emissions’.
Read more: SUVs have a “crushing” impact on French climate goals, according to an NGO
The NGO also claimed that the use of SUVs could have a significant impact on French attempts to drastically reduce carbon emissions in order to meet the international climate objectives defined in the Paris Agreement.
But news of the new tax comes the same week the government confirmed that grants of € 1,000 would be available, without conditions, to anyone wishing to buy a used electric car in France. Additional assistance would also be available for low income families.
France confirms € 1,000 subsidy for used electric cars
The French government increases its assistance program for the purchase of cars
French MPs propose a single “tax” on new heavy vehicles
The boss of the automobile industry against the “absurd” French eco-tax