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Old October 10th, 2012, 05:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I think a network works best if either all routes are tolled or no routes are tolled at all..
Impossible. Look at France. No toll in metropolitan areas, it starts way outside these areas, far away from mass commuter traffic. Otherwise you'd get even worse situations then Milan or Dartford, where you pay to sit in traffic.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 05:35 PM   #22
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This is why God invented E-ZPass Express Lanes:

http://blogs.deldot.gov/files/2011/0...Toll-Plaza.jpg

The thing reads your transponder while you pass through at the speed limit. (And the left lane is E-ZPass only far enough back - a mile or two - that you aren't, at least theoretically, caught in the back-up from the cash booths.)
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Old October 10th, 2012, 09:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Well, I meant a toll system where you would be tolled per mile / kilometer, not a flat-fee vignette system with unlimited mileage.
That system is in use in most countries. It is called fuel tax.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 01:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattiG View Post
That system is in use in most countries. It is called fuel tax.
Not true. Fuel tax is only applied to certain fuels, such as petrol or diesel. There are vehicles that run on other fuels which are not taxed, and as such, fuel tax can hardly be considered tolling.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 07:46 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riiga View Post
Not true. Fuel tax is only applied to certain fuels, such as petrol or diesel. There are vehicles that run on other fuels which are not taxed, and as such, fuel tax can hardly be considered tolling.
In most countries, the petrol or diesel based traffic is more than 98% of the road traffic volume. Thus, there is a good reason to say that the fuel tax is a mileage tax: the more you drive and the more you produce CO2 emissions the more you pay.

If electricity cars ever gain significant market share, the governments will create ways to implement instruments similar to the fuel tax.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 06:48 PM   #26
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I haven't said so yet, but when this thread first appeared, I said to myself "Should a highway be profitable?"

Obviously, a private company has a right to make money. I don't know about the economics of this, but I'm wondering to what extent the fact that tolls are so high in, say, France is attributable to the fact (if it is a fact) that they need to make a profit for the operator. Which brings up political questions like should they be privatized...?

Our national reputation for rampant capitalism notwithstanding ( ;-) ), privatized toll roads are relatively rare here, and mostly limited to relatively new ones in metropolitan areas. The 326 miles (528 km) of the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the Valley Forge interchange where most traffic heading west from Philadelphia would get onto it to the Ohio border would cost me $22.55 westbound, $26.53 eastbound. That's with E-ZPass. Cash rates are $26.55 westbound, $31.30 eastbound. (The difference between westbound and eastbound rates is due to a barrier at the Ohio border which collects a toll eastbound only). I don't know if there's a more expensive long-distance toll road in the country - the Ohio Turnpike, which I've used a couple of times, is much cheaper - perhaps the New York Thruway.

By way of comparison, the 570 km from Paris to Bordeaux would cost 53.00 euros - $68.67 at the exchange rate of the moment.

I'm not trying to open something up here (although it might be an interesting topic if we could stay away from "national reputations," for rampant capitalism or anything else); just wondering. Why did some countries rely on private companies to build their roads - they'd get done faster? Be maintained better? We could even compare France, Italy or Spain to Germany, Belgium, or the Netherlands, which went a completely different route. With those American states that have toll roads falling somewhere in between. But my basic question is how much of that Paris-to-Bordeaux toll, just by way of example, is accounted for by the operator's profit?

EDIT: The Ohio Turnpike, end to end, about 240 miles, is $16.50 cash, $11.25 with E-ZPass.
And the New York Thruway is not, it turns out, more expensive than the Pennsylvania Turnpike: $19.60 cash, $18.62 with E-ZPass from New York City to Buffalo, about 420 miles (it would be a few dollars more in the other direction thanks to an eastbound-only toll at the Tappan Zee Bridge).
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Last edited by Penn's Woods; October 14th, 2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #27
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First motorways in Spain (1970s) were tolled simply because the State had no money to build them, so it had to rely in private companies. It was not until the 80s that we had enough cash to duplicate some long-distance roads, and the result were very low-quality motorways that had no maintenance at all. These first toll roads have become profitable on the long run, so I guess it was a good option rather than not building any motorways at all. Had we waited to have the money to build toll-free roads, we wouldn't have had motorways until the late 90s.

I guess that in the US there was enough money to build roads, so there was no need to make them tolled. Same goes for the UK, the Netherlands or Belgium. But for poorer countries such as Spain (I'm talking about the 70s), the only option was private funding.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riiga View Post
Not true. Fuel tax is only applied to certain fuels, such as petrol or diesel. There are vehicles that run on other fuels which are not taxed, and as such, fuel tax can hardly be considered tolling.
That lack of tax for alternative fuel is more of a temporary subsidary until such vehicles become a number to recon with. Trust our politicians to whip out plans prepared decades in advance should we ever get to that point.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 04:20 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
I haven't said so yet, but when this thread first appeared, I said to myself "Should a highway be profitable?"
I totally agree, a far more valid question.

Personally I'd answer with "no".
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Old October 15th, 2012, 04:21 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattiG View Post
If electricity cars ever gain significant market share, the governments will create ways to implement instruments similar to the fuel tax.
I don't know about Finland but here in Germany electricity is heavily taxed too.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #31
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The problem is the electricity consumption from electric cars are currently barely cheaper than diesel fuel (per kilometer) and is still untaxed. Unless the efficiency of electric cars improves dramatically, driving on electricity will be substantially more expensive than diesel fuel if taxed the same amount. (not to mention electric cars are far more expensive than regular cars).

Charging your car for 100 kilometers costs about € 6 without additional taxes in the Netherlands. I can drive 90 kilometers for € 6 in diesel fuel - including excise duty and VAT.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 04:31 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verreme View Post
I guess that in the US there was enough money to build roads, so there was no need to make them tolled. Same goes for the UK, the Netherlands or Belgium. But for poorer countries such as Spain (I'm talking about the 70s), the only option was private funding.
The Netherlands created an infrastructure fund in 1926 to pay for road improvements. The fund was filled with taxes levied on motorists. So motorists have always been paying for the infrastructure in the Netherlands, unlike some other countries where earlier road construction was paid for by the general budget.

Political taxes were imposed on fuel and cars during the late 1980s and early 1990s (including a car purchase tax of 43% on top of the regular VAT). Excise duty on gasoline was raised substantially in 1991. Dutch motorists have been grossly overcharged for their road network ever since.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 06:16 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Charging your car for 100 kilometers costs about € 6 without additional taxes in the Netherlands. I can drive 90 kilometers for € 6 in diesel fuel - including excise duty and VAT.
With some € 0.22-0.3 per kWh is a 20 kWh battery car 5-6 euro per battery charge. This is some 130 kms per charge. Lets say we would need to recharge 3 times a week. In a year some 170 recharges. In total we need 170*20=3400 kWh. This would need some 30 square meters of photovoltaic panels (some 14 pannels) with investments of some € 6 - 7 000.

yearly kms driven (170*130)
22100
yearly diesel cost (6 euro per 100 km)
€ 3683

This would pretty much pay the cost of the photovoltaic installation in two years. Given we need to use the car in radius of 50-60 km only.

The calculations are not precise but I can see a huge market here.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 06:32 PM   #34
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With solar panels you could indeed generate your own power, and thus evade taxes on electricity.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
With solar panels you could indeed generate your own power, and thus evade taxes on electricity.
Till the government finds a way to tax it anyway :d.

Seriously. I can see quite nice business going on with complex solutions. Delivery of the photovoltaics and the car in one setup.

The biggest problem that would be faced is that the car is mostly used during the day and therefore gone from the installation and can´t be charged. There would be aditional costs on either recharging from home storage battery (energy losses, infrastructure problems, etc) or having two batteries, that could be switched every day (again infrastructure problems). But this problem is solvable. Lets keep the numbers conservative.

Total costs EV variant:

up to € 25 000 for the EV
photovoltaic installation + second battery up to € 17 000
lifetime some 10 years with two batteries

total € 42 000

Total costs Diesel variant (same class)

up to € 17 000 diesel car
yearly costs € 3 500
* 10 years = € 35 000
total € 52 000

In 10 years we are some € 10 000 in plus. Not bad.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
With solar panels you could indeed generate your own power, and thus evade taxes on electricity.
I depends...

I would not be extremely surprised if for example EU created a legislation making it legal to charge the batteries through a certified device only. That device would count the kilowatthours and the memory content would be downloaded regularly for the taxation. Tampering or bypassing the device would be subject to a 50,000 euro fine.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 01:44 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by VECTROTALENZIS View Post
As the title says, can a highway/expressway become profitable?
Toll-booths?
Well its kind of like asking if schools can be profitable...so its kind of difficult to calculate the profit of something that is built for the greater good.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 01:47 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by italystf View Post
Yes, but tax revenues are the same if either you build new roads or not. Are your taxes excises on fuel or possession taxes for motor vehicles?
Well productivity is directly related to mobility, and mobility is directly related to highways, and tax revenue is directly related to productivity...so its kind of one big circle. I think its safe to say that without highways tax revenues would not be the same, because you would simply not be capable of maintaining productivity at the same level with the reduced mobility and as a result the taxes you would expect to scrape off of the top would be proportionally lower.

Last edited by alesmarv; December 13th, 2012 at 01:53 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 01:31 AM   #39
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The biggest problem that would be faced is that the car is mostly used during the day and therefore gone from the installation and can´t be charged.
Electric car manufacturers should put solar panels on the roof of their cars. This is common with camper vans, so why not on cars right?
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Old December 16th, 2012, 03:48 AM   #40
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If I'm not mistaken, the New Jersey Turnpike is highly profitable. The Ohio Turnpike is also profitable, and the governor wants to tap its funds to pay for highway construction elsewhere in the state.
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