Some environmentalists have decided that pickup trucks, SUVs, and other “heavy” and “greedy” vehicles that consume large amounts of gasoline and road space should be taxed based on their weight to discourage people from buying them.
A leading pioneer of this has been France, where, as reported by the country’s environment minister Barbara Pompili, cars with a weight exceeding 1,800kg are subjected to an additional tax rate of €10 per kilogram over the limit.
However, this growing trend has already reached the United States.
The fee structure would be as follows: vehicles weighing less than 3,499 lbs (1,587 kg) would incur a $72 charge, while those weighing between 3,500-4,999 lbs (1,588-2,267 kg) would cost $175. The fee would then escalate to $250 for vehicles weighing between 5,000-5,999 lbs (1,589-2,721 kg) and peak at $500 for vehicles weighing 6,000 lbs (2,722 kg) or more.
The proposal not only affects passenger vehicles, but also those who own heavy commercial vehicles, tractors, or passenger-carrying vehicles for hire.
The fee for these vehicles would begin at $125 and rise to $700 for vehicles weighing over 10,000 lbs (4,536 kg).
But there’s a catch – the city will also impose an additional $50 fee for every 1,000 lbs (454 kg) above the 10,000 lbs (4,536 kg) weight limit.
And, to add insult to injury, the increased fees will even apply to electric vehicles that rely on heavy lithium-ion battery packs.
The proposed plan is expected to bring in around $40 million in additional income for the city within the next five years and has received seamless approval from D.C.’s city council, starting with the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, followed by its integration into the city’s comprehensive budget plan.
A similar proposal could be heading to New York City.
Transportation Alternatives took to Twitter to say, “SUVs + pickup trucks are up to 3x more likely to kill or seriously injure people during a crash than smaller cars. NYC must shift to a weight-based tax to discourage people from driving cars that are too big and too dangerous for our streets.”
It may be likely that more and more cities will adopt a weight-based tax for cars to increase their efforts to combat climate change, and even electric cars may not be exempt.
It’s safe to say that the years ahead may not be looking good for the automobile industry.