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Increased diesel taxes will hit consumers and the environment, says FIA


14 Apr 2011


Climate & Environment

(Brussels 13th April 2011)


Although the aim of the European Commission’s new energy tax proposal to avoid competitive distortion in the energy sector is to be welcomed, increased taxes on diesel will send the wrong message to consumers on both price and lowering emissions, according to the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).


“Diesel has been consistently encouraged over the past decade due to its better fuel efficiency. It makes no sense to now penalise those consumers who have chosen this technology”, said Jacob Bangsgaard, Director General FIA Region I, which represents 36 million motorists via its 100 member clubs.


“Many European consumers choose diesel cars and accept their higher initial purchasing costs, as in the long-term, they have been led to believe diesel will mean lower running costs. In certain countries, diesel accounts for as high as 75% of new car purchases.”


He added, “Let’s not forget either that with most of our goods carried by diesel trucks and vans, consumers will take another hit in their pockets as these higher transport costs will
inevitably be passed on directly to the price of goods in shops.”


Modern diesel engines are clean, quiet, refined and powerful. They are also economical, providing a 30 percent boost in fuel economy with a corresponding decline in carbon dioxide emissions compared to gasoline. The FIA believes that one of the main impacts of the proposed measure will be a reduction of consumer choice, as well as a significant setback in the development of diesel technologies by European manufacturers.


Mr Bangsgaard commented, “Taking into consideration the fact that CO2 emissions of diesel engines are about 20% below those running on gasoline, the European Commission’s proposal seems to be ill-judged given the EU’s ambitious targets for reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector.”


The FIA believes that increases in taxation without offering clear policy objectives have very limited effect on making mobility more sustainable and therefore demands that a step-by-step re-orientation of existing motoring taxation be undertaken, making optimal use of fiscal policy so as to encourage a positive shift of consumers’ preferences to promote more sustainable mobility, i.e. cleaner, more energy efficient and safer. At the same time, the FIA calls for any change in taxation and charging schemes to be revenue neutral, as increases would hamper the economy, leading to a loss of citizens’ quality of life and social exclusion.


Note for Editors:

Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Region I office
The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Region I office represents 36 million motorists across its 100 member Motoring and Touring Clubs. For more information, please see:


Energy Taxation Directive
The European Commission has today presented its proposal to overhaul the rules on the taxation of energy products in the European Union. The new rules aim to restructure the way energy products are taxed to remove current imbalances and take into account both their CO2 emissions and energy content. The revised Directive would enter into force as of 2013. Long transitional periods for the full alignment of taxation of the energy content, until 2023, is intended to leave time for industry to adapt to the new taxation structure. 


For more information, please contact Niall Carty, Communications Manager, FIA Brussels Office: n.carty@ or 02 282 0812