Reduced taxes for electric cars

Electric cars could reduce pollution and reliance on oil. Tax reductions would give people a reason to buy them.

LEAF electric car

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Auto tax reforms flawed: Emission figures don't tell full story by Richard Leu, Motoring news Editor


The pending change in the automobile tax structure is flawed and not well thought out, according to executives of car companies based in the Thailand.

Despite zero tailpipe emissions, the all-electric Nissan Leaf would have to face the same tax rate as petrol-electric hybrid cars.

Under the new structure proposed by the Excise Department, vehicles emitting carbon dioxide levels between 150 and 200 grammes per kilometre would face a 30% tax rate. Any car exceeding 200g/km would be subject to a five-point hike; anything below 150 would get a five-point reduction.

There seem to be good intentions in trying to simplify the overly complex tax system in Thailand," said one high-ranking executive of a major maker of pickups and passenger cars.

But creating just three tax categories [measured by CO2 emissions] is imprecise and doesn't really encourage makers to bring forward new technology.

Nissan, which is showing the Leaf electric car at the ongoing Bangkok International Motor Show, said there must be a special tax incentive for electric vehicles (EVs) so they can be sold in Thailand at just over one million baht.

Taking the proposed tax change into consideration, the Leaf - with zero tailpipe emissions - would face the same tax as hybrid petrol-electric cars like the Toyota Prius, which claims to emit 99g/km

"We [Nissan] are offering higher technology with no emissions, so it sounds a little unfair why the Leaf would be taxed the same rate with other cars that still emit CO2," said one Nissan source.

Executives believe Thailand should emulate what many developed countries have done and draw up an excise tax from the ground up, such as starting from zero CO2 and scaling up in increments of 50g/km.

One industry observer even stretched the point further.

He said that the Land Transport Department - which oversees vehicle registrations - should use the tax bands of the Excise Department to collect road tax based on CO2. Currently, annual fees are based on engine size and vehicle type.

The Nissan executive expressed a similar sentiment.

Cars with clean technologies should not only be attractive at initial purchase point but also over the entire ownership period. This will encourage buyers to go green.

...More importantly, it hasn't been mentioned whether pickups and their SUV derivatives would also be subject to CO2 rules. Despite their gas-guzzling attributes and overwhelming popularity among Thais, these vehicles today are taxed between 3% and 20% depending on body type, as opposed to passenger cars ranging from 30-50%.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Auto tax reforms flawed, Emission figures don't tell full story, 28/03/2011, Richard Leu, Motoring news Editor, link


Air Pollution Vocabulary

tailpipe - the little pipe in the back of a car that exhaust and emissions exit from
emissions - gases released into the air (from cars, factories, etc), amounts of gas, heat, light, etc. that are sent out การปล่อยออกมา

Nissan Leaf - LEAF = Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car, "a five-door mid-size hatchback electric car manufactured by Nissan and introduced in Japan and the U.S. in December 2010.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined the range to be 117 kilometres (73 mi), with an energy consumption of 765 kJ/km (34 kWh per 100 miles) and rated the Leaf's combined fuel economy at 99 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent" (See Wikipedia)

hybrid - a mixture of different things or styles การผสมผสาน
petrol-electric hybrid cars - a "Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)" (See Wikipedia)
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) - a car that uses both electricity and gasoline, "a type of hybrid vehicle and electric vehicle which combines a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) propulsion system with an electric propulsion system. The presence of the electric powertrain is intended to achieve either better fuel economy than a conventional vehicle, or better performance. A variety of types of HEV exist, and the degree to which they function as EVs varies as well" (See Wikipedia)
hybrid vehicle - "a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle" (See Wikipedia)

vehicles - machines with an engine used to carry people or goods from place to place ยานพาหนะ
carbon dioxide -
"a colourless, odorless, tasteless gas that is produced when animals exhale and when fuels burn, and is used by plants to make food," also found in vehicle emissions, is a "green house gas" and is therefore part of the global climate change problem, can have negative health effects if too much is inhaled (toxicity) (See Wikipedia)
CO2 - same as "carbon dioxide" 
emit (verb) - to send a gas out into the air
emissions (noun) - gases that have been sent out into the air
emit CO2 - to send carbon dioxide out into the air
CO2 emissions - carbon dioxide sent into the air

SUV - Sport Utility Vehicle, "a vehicle similar to a station wagon, but built on a light-truck chassis.[1] Usually equipped with four-wheel drive for on- or off-road ability, and with some pretension or ability to be used as an off-road vehicle, some SUVs include the towing capacity of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying space of a minivan or large sedan. Since SUVs are considered light trucks and often share the same platform with pick-up trucks, they are regulated less strictly than passenger cars under the two laws in the United States" (See Wikipedia)
SUV derivatives -
vehicles that are ike SUVs (but different in some ways)

guzzle -
to eat or drink a lot quickly
gas-guzzling - when a car uses a lot of gasoline (meaning: the car is using gasoline quickly)

excise - dealing with taxes made by a government on some types of goods produced and used within their own country ภาษีสำหรับสินค้าในประเทศ
vehicle - a machine that you travel in or on, especially one with an engine that travels on roads, e.g., a car, bus, van, truck, etc. ยานพาหนะ
register (verb) - to put name on an official list in order to be allowed to do something ลงทะเบียน
registration (noun) -  จดทะเบียน
vehicle registration - (here: put the car and the owner's name (your name) on the government list and pay the tax, then you have government permission to drive the car on the roads)
tax bands - groups of people with some measurement (here: emissions) in the same range (between two numbers) who pay the same tax
annual
- happening once a year ประจำปี
fees - money that you pay to be allowed to do something ค่าธรรมเนียม


Other Vocabulary

reforms - improvements in the way that government works
flawed - has mistakes, defects, and imperfections , spoiled by something มีข้อบกพร่อง
figures - statistics, numbers
pending - waiting to be dealt with or completed ยังค้างอยู่, ซึ่งยังไม่จบสิ้น, อยู่ในระหว่าง
well thought out - the people who made did a lot of thinking when making the design (so the design is very good)
executives - a high level manager in a company (making plans and ensuring they executed successfully) ผู้บริหาร

tax rate - the percentage of value that is paid as tax
proposed - suggested (but not yet chosen or decided upon)

exceeding - passing a limit, going beyond
hike - increase
five-point - increase by five percentage points

intentions - plans in you mind about what you are going to do ความตั้งใจ เจตนา
good intentions - the reason they are doing it, is to help other people
complex - an area that has several parts and is difficult to understand and deal with
executive - the highest level managers in a company
high-ranking executive - very high level manager in a company or organization
imprecise - not exact
encourage - make people interested in and excited about doing an activity, to make someone more likely to do something, or to make something more likely to happen ปลุกใจ
bring forward new technology
- create and use new technology

ongoing - happening at the present moment; continuing ไม่หยุดยั้ง, ต่อเนื่อง
incentive - reward to encourage certain behaviour, something that makes you want to do something or work harder, because you know that you will benefit by doing this สิ่งกระตุ้น
consideration - giving careful thought to something before making a decision
take into consideration Y - use information Y when making a decision
source - someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว

emulate - imitate something good that another does
draw up
- create and write a new law (that still has to be passed by parliament before it is used)
from the ground up -
from the beginning (here: lowest tax rates)
scale up -
to increase the size of something
increment
(noun) - one in a series of increases in the amount of something
scaling up in increments of Y - increasing the size gradually, each time increasing by size Y
observer - a person who watches what happens but has no active part in it; a person who watches and analyses a situation ผู้สังเกตการณ์,ผู้ออกความเห็น
industry observer - an expert on an industry, who watches events in the industry and provides expert analysis of what is happening and why
stretched the point further - developed the idea further, added to the idea

oversee - manage, watch and check to see if a job is done correctly

sentiment - feelings, a thought, opinion or idea based on a feeling about a situation, or a way of thinking about something กระแส, แนวความคิด, ความคิดเห็น
expressed a similar sentiment - said something, that showed that he felt the same way
attractive - pleasant to look at น่าสนใจ
initial - happening at the beginning of a process ในเบื้องต้น
purchase - buy
initial purchase point - the place and time that some product is bought (the beginning of the customer experience, which lasts until the end of life of the product)

derive X from Y - create X using Y as a pattern or model to imitate (X is like Y but different, X is based on Y)
subject to rules -
must follow rules (or be punished)

attribute -
feature, characteristic, aspect, a part of something, a part of a things description
popularity -
how many people like something (here: how many car-buyers like to buy the car)
overwhelming popularity - very popular, many people like it

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer