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We have already emphasized this in the past, it is rare for the scale of the ecological penalty or its new counterpart the weight penalty to be challenged during negotiations on the State budget. Those for next year are taking place right now. And according to the government’s plans that we recently discovered in its 2024 finance bill, the objective is to ensure that the two aforementioned penalties are much more severe. Concerning the weight penalty more precisely, it is planned that it will be triggered earlier than previously, from 1,600 kg compared to 1,800 kg until then, but also that its amount will be progressive.
Too harsh in fact? The Minister of Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher wanted to be rather reassuring by specifying that by lowering the trigger threshold, only very large SUVs would be affected. Which is verified in fact. To date, and while waiting to discover the technical sheet of its big brother the Rafale which should logically also suffer, the new Renault Espace will be the only French model dedicated to the individual buyers concerned. We have excluded Trafic, still at Renault, which is also aimed at professionals.
A still reasonable penalty
Note that a version of the Space is not subject to the weight penalty. In the entry-level “Techno” finish, and in the 5-seater version, it remains below the 1,600 kg mark, with precisely 1,587 kg on the scale. In 7 seats, still with the same Techno livery, the surplus is moderate at €220 because it only weighs 1,622 kg.
On the high-end Esprit Alpine and Iconic variants, the bill is steeper with a weight of between 1,663 kg and 1,698 kg, which brings the weight penalty to a minimum of €630 and almost €1,000 on the model the heaviest.
Fortunately, that’s all you’ll have to add. With CO2 emissions ranging from 104 g/km to 111 g/km depending on the version chosen, Espace monitors its consumption and will not be affected by the ecological penalty which will be triggered in 2024 from 118 g/km. Phew!
The problem of classical hybridization
How can we explain that the Espace is the only one of the major French models for individuals to receive the weight penalty? It’s simple, it is penalized by its simple hybridization which the legal texts do not provide for to favor rechargeable hybrids. The regulations will still provide for an exemption from the weight penalty for the latter if their range in the city in all-electric mode exceeds 50 km (this will no longer be the case, however, in 2025!).
Heavy cars exceeding 1,600 kg, there are quite a few from DS or Peugeot, but they are plug-in hybrids. This is the case for the DS7 or the DS9. This is also the case for the Peugeot 508. Renault’s bet is in fact a bit dangerous. In any case, it’s not doing him too much harm at the moment. Classic hybridization makes it possible to maintain attractive prices compared to more advanced electrification, but this means that a motorized model of this kind can suffer a penalty if it emits too much CO2 or if its weight is too high.
Also read on Auto-Moto.com:
The shocking example of Bruno Le Maire to promote electric vehicles
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Fuels over €2: the government is afraid of TotalEnergies
To sum up
Despite a tightening of the scale planned for 2024, the weight penalty will still have only a limited impact on French production.
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