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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

EU to add £3.300 to Price of Cars

When businesses indulge in price fixing, Neelie Kroes and her team spring into action. They take legal action to prevent consumers being price gouged, because thats what the EU is for. Its all about protecting consumers from greedy businessmen. But who is to protect consumers from rapacious regulators?

After weeks of wrangling, bureaucrats in Brussels will today announce limits on the amount of carbon dioxide new vehicles can emit. An EU-commissioned report claims the proposals could add an average of £2,500 to the price of a car. But motor manufacturers claim the cost could be as high as £3,300.
The difference is hardly worth arguing about, you will be screwed either way, and for what? For the sole purpose of giving more power to Brussels (using global warming as an excuse).

These new regulations effectively mean that the EU has chosen hybrids as the solution. As with all government technology choices, it will inevitably be shown later to be the wrong choice. Cutting net carbon emissions could be achieved with biofuels (green even in a 6 litre Ferrari), increased use of public transport (irrespective of what people are driving), including petrol indirectly in emissions trading would offer cheaper ways of overall cuts.

But no. Brussels knows best, and you poor serfs will just have to pay through the nose for your next car.

7 comments:

Sir Henry Morgan said...

The intention behind using the price mechanism for this sort of thing has nothing to do with the environment. It's to clear the roads of poor people so that the well-off, who can afford it, will have nice clear roads to use.

That's ALWAYS the intent behind using price for anything. If the powers that be really wanted to bring about a cut in the consumption of anything they'd bring in hard rationing. Food shortages during WWII? Hard rationing. Imagine if they'd used the price mechanism! And evn in that instance, Expensive restaurants and hotels in e.G. the West End had extra supplies. Gotta have an out for the toffs, you see.

FranceSucks said...

Holland already taxes cars to death reagardless if they are driven or not. Start investing in used cars fellow serfs. I run a 20 year old audi that I keep in perfect condition. The repairs are more than offset by the low annual tax rate grandfathered in.

CityUnslicker said...

Rarely to I disagree, but this is surely a good idea.

I don't fo a second believe the manufacturers cost sums. They are already heavily investing in lower emmissions vehicles.

Also this does not necessarily mean Prius' all round. Biofuel cars would have low emissions, as would hydrogen vehicles.

Gentle regulation to point the market in the right direction is a good idea. It is what regulation is for when done correctly.

Colin said...

Serf,

You made an excellent point:

"the EU has chosen hybrids as the solution"

The question is: the solution for what considering that man-made global warming based on CO2 increase is a myth.

I suspect that environmental regulations - as many other regulations - are in reality about protecting big business from foreign competition.

For example, cheaper cars from China will soon be available. But now Chinese cars will be unable to compete for a few more years with cars produced in the EU because of the EU's new environmental regulations.

mark adams said...

These new regulations effectively mean that the EU has chosen hybrids as the solution. As with all government technology choices, it will inevitably be shown later to be the wrong choice.

Totally untrue. Hybrid cars have already been shown to be the wrong choice. Manufacturers already sell them at a loss, subsidising the difference out of their marketing budgets.

The reason they are more expensive? - because they use more energy and raw materials to produce. Who would have thought the price mechanism actually transmitted important information about scarce resources? [it also turns out those batteries shorten the life of the vehicle].

I'm not so sure about your other ideas - although as I interpret it you are saying we should let the markets pick the best one, which I agree with.

Sugar ethanol may prove useful (corn is definitely not) but not the stuff we farm inefficiently in Europe. We can import it but why transport it across the world? Countries that can use ethanol efficiently should do so - and will without interference because the price mechanism will tell them too. I'm not so sure about the relative merits of bio-diesel.

Public transport is fairly efficient in cities but a waste of money elsewhere. Despite living in a fairly populous area there is a [subsidised] bus route near where I live that runs empty most of the time. A waste of money and fuel.

I'm not convinced we're running out of oil. At a higher price many more reserves are exploitable and drilling technology is improving constantly. Plus there are huge reserves in the Atabaska tar sands and Rocky Mountain oil shale deposits which may now be economic to exploit.

Serf said...

I'm not so sure about your other ideas - although as I interpret it you are saying we should let the markets pick the best one, which I agree with.

Exactly. The other options might be crap as well, but include the cost of externalities into the equation and the market will find the best solutions.

On possibility that I forgot to mention was people driving more sensibly. Driving style can seriously effect petrol consumption.

Also in all this argument, one point frequently gets overlooked. Using tax to raise the cost of energy usage is effectively free, if it replaces other taxes. Regulations are not.

Colin said...

Mark Adams,

"there is a [subsidised] bus route near where I live that runs empty most of the time."

Strangely, that's also the case in the area where I am living.

"A waste of money and fuel."

Indeed.