Netherlands Meter Plan Links Gas Pedals to Wallets – NYTimes.com

Netherlands Meter Plan Links Gas Pedals to Wallets – NYTimes.com.

In Auto Test in Europe, Meter Ticks Off Miles, and Fee to Driver

EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands — As Sander Van Dedem recalled watching the charges tick up every 10 seconds on the dashboard meter on the way to the airport, he resolved to try public transportation next time.  “Looking at the money makes you realize that a car isn’t always a good idea,” said Mr. Van Dedem, a commercial sales manager for I.B.M. here.

But his pricey ride was not in a taxi. He was driving his own Volvo XC60.

The car had been outfitted with the meter so that Mr. Van Dedem could take part in a trial of a controversial government tax proposal to charge drivers a fee for the miles they drive. The meter also factors in the cost to society in the form of pollution, traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and wear and tear on roads.

Hooked up to the Internet wirelessly and to GPS, the system tabulates a charge for each car trip by using a mileage-based formula that also takes account of a car’s fuel efficiency, the time of day and the route. (Driving on busier thoroughfares costs more than driving on less-traveled roads.) At the end of each month, the vehicle’s owner would receive a bill detailing times and costs of usage, not unlike a cellphone bill, although participants in the trial did not have to pay the charges.

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Read the full story here: The New York Times

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1 Comment

Filed under ecology & environment, modern times, pollution, Science & Technology, traffic

One response to “Netherlands Meter Plan Links Gas Pedals to Wallets – NYTimes.com

  1. Pit

    My two-cents-worth:
    – First: it is definitely an excellent idea to charge drivers factoring in ALL the costs of driving, i.e the full ecological, economic and sociologic impact, even including the building of the new and the disposal of the old car, both of which are not considered enough nowadays for eletrically powered cars, especially as far as their batteries are concerned.
    – Second:as sound as this idea is, I doubt if it’ll ever come to pass for two reasons mentioned in the article. On the one had the politicians always only look at their own short-term gains, i.e. re-election, and therefore will never introduce measures that are, even in the slightest sense, unpopular, and on the other hand the public will always be afraid of being tracked by GPS. That Orwellian Big-Brother-Is-Watching-You fear will never go away.

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