Climate: the government will introduce an automobile penalty for SUVs over 1,800 kg

Climate: the government will introduce an automobile penalty for SUVs over 1,800 kg

The request came in particular from the Citizen’s Convention for the Climate and WWF France which had called for “bringing in the question of the weight” of these vehicles, “in the bonus-malus”.

An SUV in a street in Paris, in January 2020 (AURÉLIEN ACCART / RADIO FRANCE)

The government has finally ruled in favor of an automobile penalty for the heaviest vehicles, franceinfo learned Thursday, October 15 from the office of Barbara Pompili, Minister of Ecological Transition, confirming information from the newspaper The echoes [article payant].

A government amendment will be tabled in the 2021 finance bill. It will provide for a tax for vehicles over 1,800 kg.

It is a won arbitration estimates the entourage of the Minister of the ecological transition, because Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, was said to be opposed to a taxation by weight. “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 French” had he declared to Echos, end of September.

The taxation of the heaviest cars was part of the proposals of the 150 citizens of the Citizen’s Convention for the climate, who wished “Very strongly reinforce the penalty on polluting vehicles and introduce weight as one of the criteria to be taken into account”. The convention called for a tax of 10 euros per kilogram over 1,400 kg. The government did not follow it and decided to raise the threshold, so that only vehicles over 1,800 kg are concerned. Bercy specifies that the tax does not apply to vehicles electric and hybrid cars, nor family cars.

Insufficient, for WWF

Guest of franceinfo on Tuesday, October 6, the president of WWF France, Isabelle Autissier, called on the government to “Include the issue of weight in the bonus-malus” when purchasing a vehicle, while sales of SUV now represent 38% of sales in France, according to a study published by l’ONG. “We get around in a car that weighs 200 kilos more and emits 20% more greenhouse gases”, had denounced the former sailor.

Thursday on franceinfo Isabelle Autissier greets a “first step”. WWF “Nevertheless welcomes the fact that, for the first time, weight is taken into account in the question of the bonus-malus”, she said. But “This will not have the impact that is to be hoped for on the climate issue” while “The impact of SUVs is absolutely crushing on the climate and prevents us from keeping the commitments that France has signed”, she regretted.

According to her, the government is not going far enough. WWF hoped for a progressive tax from 1,300 kg, because the signal “Must be across the entire industry”.