Online Spiegel Survey Reveals 60% Of Germans Say Cheap Diesel Fuel Is Good, Or Needs To Be Even Cheaper!

In Europe, especially Germany, diesel engines are quite popular. The oil-burning combustion motors get far better fuel mileage and the price of fuel in the country is some 20% cheaper than gasoline – thanks to lower taxes.

With fuel prices today at the lowest level they’ve been in quite some time, German motorists are once again enjoying the low-cost motoring and are thus more inclined to take extra trips with dem Auto. Lately the price of diesel fuel has even dipped below 1 euro per liter (about $4.30 a US gallon) – in heavily taxed Europe a real bargain compared to a just a few years ago.

But not everyone is happy about the low fuel prices. Yesterday Spiegel opined on the falling diesel prices, complaining that “the low-cost fuel is no reason to celebrate“, warning that “for the low cost diesel, we are going to pay a heavy price“. This is typical of the German media. As soon as something good happens, they have to find a way to rain all over it.

Why does Spiegel think this is going to cost a “heavy price”? The center-left flagship weekly thinks the extra driving that Germans will do as a result of the low prices is going to cause more emissions of dangerous “cancer-causing” fine particles and nitrous oxide, which in turn of course will cost “human lives”.

Ridiculously Spiegel uses smog-choked China as an example as to why Germans are going to die from higher emissions. In reality, German smog is only a small fraction of a small fraction of Chinese smog, and so Germans aren’t at all concerned about a few particles.

Those in favor of cheap diesel outnumber those against it by a margin of 2 – 1!

For now Germans are quite content with the latest diesel fuel price trend, just as an online poll of its readers that accompanies the story now shows. So far as of 8:20 p.m. CET, some 95,000 readers have answered their one-question survey question:

Diesel is cheaper than it’s been in a long time. What’s your opinion on this?

The result: Over 60% say that this is good news for motorists or that the fuel should be even cheaper.

Less than one third say diesel fuel should be more expensive. This is hardly good news for the environmental activists.

Overall even green-conscious Germans prefer low cost fossil-fuel diesel by a margin of 2 to 1! Of course this is not a scientific survey. Yet the results show that people are generally fine with the low fuel prices. Electric cars face yet another obstacle.


21 responses to “Online Spiegel Survey Reveals 6021 Of Germans Say Cheap Diesel Fuel Is Good, Or Needs To Be Even Cheaper!”

  1. Graeme No.3

    I didn’t realise that sod wrote for Der Spiegel. Or is it just a fellow sod?

    1. DirkH

      We got a factory for them, it’s called public school system.

  2. DirkH

    Disconnect between German media – who are Maoist to a man – and the public is complete. Media and Public boycot each other to find out who dies first. Public is pretty relaxed about it.

    1. mwhite

      At least they’re not like the UK media. On the one hand they push the Green Dream and on the other they complain about the high cost of petrol, gas and electricity as well as diesel.

      Even the Greens complain about the high cost of household heating, they just don’t get it, their own green policies creating fuel poverty.

  3. John F. Hultquist

    Of course this is not a scientific survey.

    I wonder what is? Many years (50) ago, as a class assignment, several students stood on city streets and asked questions of anyone that would talk to us. That was not very scientific but we learned how people perceived their urban landscape. The phone system has been used, door to door, mail out & back, and others. None work well. Today we can mostly tell on the phone if a marketer or survey firm is calling. Or, we can wait to see if the caller will leave a message. We can pick up or not as desired.
    Two potential problems with on-line surveys:
    – sometimes the system allows folks to vote more than once; and
    – in just a few minutes friends can alert friends, on and on.

    Sometimes surveys do seem to capture the current feelings. This cost of diesel survey seem about right. I do know people that think autos are an abomination. Our State (WA-USA) increased the gasoline tax with proceeds going to road and bridge works. A group wanted that tax removed because they think living in a big city with walking and buses is the better way to go. They lost.

  4. Bernd Felsche

    The green zones in some cities that prevent “dirty” vehicle from entering and only allow the cleanest cars are ineffective at cleaning up the air in cities.

    But the insanity prevails. Indeed, it’s getting worse. Germans aren’t just forced to endure energy poverty; they’re made to suffer restrictions on affordable mobility; “older” cars, many made after 1990 and therefore already quite clean; now no longer permitted to drive into some cities. All for no practical reason.

    Mobility is already penalised in Germany. Fuel taxes are cash cows of the State. More than half the price of petrol/gasolene in Germany is taxes. Slightly less for diesel fuel. Only a small proportion of fuel taxes is directed into maintaining road infrastructure. A proportion so small that the government intends to apply road tolls on passenger cars in the near future to fund a catchup on the overdue maintenance of many bridges. Many bridges and roads were built “too cheaply” but nobody in government thought of financial provisions to guarantee performance; evidence not only of shoddy work by contractors but also of incompetence in the management of the contracts by the relevant governments.

    Imprudent management of road and other transport infrastructure is only one facet of the incompetence feeding off high taxes.

    One result is that fewer Germans are able to afford discretionary travel on a regular basis. Most travel is related to work or to the physical necessities of life and home. Whatever the earn seems to be eaten up by the State of Incompetence; increasingly referred to as “DDR 2.0” – harking back to the nature of the failed (through decay, dilapidation and systemically-enforced mismanagement) German Democratic Republic.

    1. Bernd Felsche

      In an article in Die Zeit, they say taxes aren’t high enough, now that bowser prices for deisel fuel are tending to be lower than 1 Euro per litre. (Still expensive by world standards, but inevitable as they choose not to source their own oil for fuels.)

      Die Zeit gives a price breakdown per litre of diesel fuel as at October, 2015:

      Fuel buy (Rotterdam): 33.29 cents
      Costs*: 14.74 cents
      Energy tax (fix): 47.04 cents
      Value Added Tax: 18,06 cents

      Consumer Price: 113.13 cents

      * Costs include storage, transport, distribution and blending with biofuels.

      Similarly for Premium Gasolene with 5% ethanol:

      Fuel buy (Rotterdam): 31.76 cents
      Costs*: 14.81 cents
      Energy tax (fix): 65.45 cents
      Value Added Tax: 21.28 cents

      Consumer Price: 133.30 cents

      Diesel price is 57.5% taxes
      Gasolene price is 65.1% taxes

      German media seem quite confused about the purpose of fuel. They seem to think that it’s a channel for governments to raise revenue or a way to punish people for notional “damage”; not a means of providing energy to move people and goods around the country.

    2. DirkH

      Bernd Felsche 9. December 2015 at 1:25 AM | Permalink | Reply
      “Germans aren’t just forced to endure energy poverty; they’re made to suffer restrictions on affordable mobility; “older” cars, many made after 1990 and therefore already quite clean; now no longer permitted to drive into some cities. All for no practical reason.”

      No; rather, for a VERY practical reason: To force people to buy newer cars, solving two problems
      a) the problem of SAVING
      b) the problem of too little consumption
      SAVING and living PRUDENTLY are toxic to the paper money system; as interest can only be paid back from profits to be made in the future, requiring monetary (or GDP) growth. Western governments and central banks constantly try to ramp up prices and force people into consumption to prolong the lifetime of the moribund paper currencies.

      Ironically, this anti-environmental push (as it squanders real resources) is justified by claiming environmental protection.

      (Similarly, the sods want new electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines, whether or not that makes any sense from a ROI or EROEI perspective, and ignore the mining for resources as long as the resources go into THEIR toys)

      Greens, they can be hoodwinked so easily. Not much mental horizon in them.

      1. DirkH

        “Western governments and central banks constantly try to ramp up prices and force people into consumption”

        governments: try to drive up cost of housing – by regulations, tax increases, prohibition of new development.

        central banks: Draghi of the ECB and others these days openly admit that they want to create inflation, and that inflation is too low.

        They are actually panicking about the low inflation. Meaning, they will print much much more USD and Euros (and no, Yellen won’t hike rates. She will LOWER them. into NIRP territory. At which point the paper currency becomes a joke: You get punished for having it, you get rewarded for shorting it! It becomes like cryptonite.)

        1. DirkH

          …you get REWARDED for taking on debt because without the reward, NOBODY will take on a credit – and that is an expression of the expectation that there will be no growth in the near future, so no investment is useful. IOW, skepticism about such growth prospects has grown to a point where everyone clings to his currency. Endtimes of a monetary regime.

      2. Bernd Felsche

        Fortunately, not everybody is blindly in love with electric cars. Even some of the press are waking up. The lack of scalability is simple to identify:

        Today there are about 15,000 gas stations in Germany …. What is unfortunately unknown, the number of individual fuel pumps – from my driving experience I guess times on an average of ten per site, which is no exaggeration. So let’s say Germany has 150,000 points to refuel.

        Each tank takes about five minutes and it is on average, needed every 600 km. How many charging stations you need at ease when all of sudden Tesla Model S to go? These cars are about twice as likely to need a refill and six times are longer – to avoid congestion, we need then twelve times 150,000, ie 1.8 million charging stations. Well, let’s assume that every second charging process takes place at home (although it is not there for nothing) – but then 900,000 new charging stations in the country would still be needed.

        Tesla drivers see it all quite differently. Most have paid more than 100,000 euros for their car and would never admit to having made a mistake.

        Elon Musk understands that if people voluntarily give you a great deal of money; they will seldom admit to having made a mistake.

        1. sod

          ” to avoid congestion, we need then twelve times 150,000, ie 1.8 million charging stations. ”

          This is a horrible miscalculation. Current petrol stations are places storing a dangerous substance. In the future, the most you will need is a cable, often not even that. The majority of loading will happen at home and at work or in parking houses.

          If anything, we might need LESS “gas” stations.

          1. DirkH

            sod 10. December 2015 at 3:42 PM | Permalink | Reply
            “This is a horrible miscalculation. Current petrol stations are places storing a dangerous substance.”

            Boo Hoo. Oooh dangerous! I’ll tell you a story about dangerous.

            In 2014 there were two suicide attacks by Tunisian Jihadists on German Autobahn gas stations. They drove their stolen cars with full speed into the gas pumps. Hoping to create a massive fireball with lots of grilled Kuffars.

            Guess what happened? In both cases a small poof, one of the jihadists dead, the other escaped over the Autobahn, got hit by a car. (No Kuffars hurt in the process)

            Germans, sticklers for safety just as well as they are Environazis, build their gas stations in such a way that nearly no fuel is ever above ground, the storage underground being a double walled steel container.

          2. sod

            “Boo Hoo. Oooh dangerous! I’ll tell you a story about dangerous.”

            You do not get it at all. petrol is poisonous. You can not just simply put a gas pump in the middle of the parking lot. This puts a pretty strict limit on the number of pumps a station can offer.

            loading stations for e-cars are completely different. basically every single parking space could easily be transformed into a “gas pump”.

            But again, the vast majority (90+%?) of loading will happen at home or at work. Those numbers from the article are just total bogus.

          3. DirkH

            “You do not get it at all. petrol is poisonous.”

            So is saltwater. Hey will ya join me in my campaign to desalinate the oceans with solar power to save the freshwater fish?

          4. DirkH

            You fear petrol stored safely in strictly regulated underground containers yet you promote homeowners put solar panels on their roof, stringed together by a dozen modules to create a DC voltage of 600 to 800 V, deadly at the slightest touch; – and undetectable to our senses, as opposed to gasoline whose fumes you immediately smell – preventing firemen from extinguishing fires at your house?

            Now don’t get me wrong, I think rooftop solar is perfectly safe if installed correctly; I just think that your sudden safety obsession is your giant hypocracy at work here.

        2. sod

          Somebody has done the calculations:

          “Das Totschlagargument mit der Anzahl an benötigten Ladestellen kommt dann auch immer wieder. Hier passiert die Rechnung auf einmal auf der Basis von 100% Elektroautos. Selbst wenn es dazu kommt – von wie vielen Jahrzehnten sprechen wir? Aber selbst dann ist diese Rechnung falsch. Die allermeisten Fahrten sind keine Langstreckenfahrten. D.h. die erforderliche Anzahl von Ladesäulen, die unterwegs zur Verfügung stehen (und dabei ist vollkommen unerheblich, ob diese kostenlos sind oder nicht) ist viel geringer als hier prognostiziert.

          Rechnen wir doch erst mal mit den 1 Mio Elektroautos. Wir haben also 150.000 Tanksäulen (die Zahl halte ich für zu hoch – bei uns in der Gegend hat keine Tankstelle diese Anzahl – aber nun gut) – und das für ca. 40 Mio Autos. Bezogen auf 1 Mio Autos macht dies 3.750 Tanksäulen/Ladepunkte. Bei einer normalen Autonutzung gehe ich davon aus, dass tendenziell eher 90-95% der Ladevorgänge zu Hause stattfinden können (warum sollte ich lange herumfahren und meine Zeit vergeuden?). Macht also noch 375 erforderliche Ladesäulen. Und das jetzt noch mit dem Faktor 6 wegen der Zeit – macht 2.250 Ladepunkte.

          Aktuell (Stand jetzt) hat Tesla in Deutschland 57 Supercharger-Standorte mit 353 sog. Stalls (Ladesäulen). Aufgebaut in ziemlich genau zwei Jahren. Nur Tesla. Aber nun fahren ja nicht alle Tesla – und es gibt auch andere nette E-Autos. Und allgemeine Ladestellen. Schauen wir dort doch mal in die Statistik. Da sind wir aktuell bei ca. 11.000 – 12.000 Ladesäulen. Ups – das sind jetzt ja schon mehr als für die 1 Mio E-Autos benötigt werden. Sogar ca. 5x so viel.”

          Ooops, we already have too much loading capacity!

  5. Mervyn

    Of course most people will say diesel should be cheaper.

    Try this question on people. Should people pay less tax?

    Does anyone doubt the answer would be an overwhelming “YES”!

  6. John F. Hultquist

    Here is a ~5 minute video (1658 comments) showing why solar and wind won’t work, using Germany as a main example. Published on Oct 19, 2015

    Is “green” energy, particularly wind and solar energy, the solution to our climate and energy problems? Or should we be relying on things like natural gas, nuclear energy, and even coal for our energy needs and environmental obligations? Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress explains.

    From * PragerU * This is the first I’ve noticed of them.
    They have posted a new one with Patrick Moore: “What They Haven’t Told You about Climate Change”

    1. sod

      “From * PragerU * This is the first I’ve noticed of them.”

      That Video is just plain out horrible again. Basically no real information and no real numbers.

      “Prager also started a website called “Prager University”, that offers five-minute videos on various subjects such as the Ten Commandments, minimum wage, the Middle East Crisis, Global Warming and happiness with a conservative perspective. Video contributors are varied and include columnists George Will and Bret Stephens, British historians Paul Johnson and Andrew Roberts, American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks”

      It is a conservative advertisement channel on youtube.

  7. Jarmo Puntanen

    Hidden tax subsidies to the German automakers to conquer the world with their famous Diesel gear!

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