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Election campaign at the gas station: How the fuel price is made up

The election campaign has reached the gas stations. At least since the Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer (CSU) called for “Bild Live”, Politicians should intervene at more than two euros per liter and warned that left-wing parties would make mobility more expensive the fuel price Topic. But how do the costs actually arise at the dispenser and who and what has what part of it?

WHAT DOES GASOLINE CURRENTLY COST?

The national daily average on Tuesday was E10 premium petrol at 1.563 euros, diesel at 1.394 euros, as the ADAC has calculated. These are prices in the range of multi-year highs.

WHERE DOES THE WARNING OF TWO EUROS PER LITER COME FROM?

The reason for the statements was, among other things, media reports that fuel prices could rise sharply in the coming years – due to a significantly higher CO2 price in the transport sector. This could be necessary for the transport sector to achieve climate targets. But a sharp rise in the price of CO2 is anything but agreed. A spokesman for Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) emphasized on Wednesday that reports about a “fuel price shock” are dubious.

Other instruments are also conceivable to reduce CO2 emissions in traffic: stronger financial incentives so that people switch to buses and trains, a general speed limit on motorways or a further expansion of electric mobility and the charging network.

HOW IS THE FUEL PRICE COMPOSED?

According to the Minerallwirtschaftsverband (MWV), taxes make up more than half the price of gasoline and almost half the price of diesel at the pump. At the current price level, premium gasoline costs 65.45 cents in energy tax and around 25 cents in VAT. For diesel 47.04 cents mineral tax and around 22 cents VAT. The rest is the price of the product, the costs of its transport and sale, and the profit from petrol stations and mineral management. A CO2 price has been added since the beginning of the year.

WHAT ROLE DOES THE CO2 PRICE PLAY?

Currently, the emission of one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) costs 25 euros. According to MWV, this amounts to a good 6.6 cents per liter for pure premium gasoline, and just under 7.9 cents for pure diesel – each including VAT. If biofuel is added, it is a little less. So the price of CO2 currently accounts for around 4 percent of the gasoline price and 5 to 6 percent for diesel.

If the CO2 price rises, this cost factor increases accordingly. If it is increased to 55 euros per ton by 2025, as planned, it will amount to around 14.6 cents per liter with pure premium petrol and around 17.3 cents with pure diesel. Depending on the biofuel admixture at the dispenser, a little less.

WHY IS THERE A CO2 PRICE?

The aim of the CO2 price introduced by the incumbent black-red coalition is to make fossil fuels less attractive – and to encourage a switch to more climate-friendly alternatives.

WHAT ELSE INFLUENCES THE FUEL PRICE?

According to experts, the most important factor for fluctuations is the oil price. Although it reaches the consumer only slightly, it is the component that has made the biggest changes. With recently around 72 dollars per barrel (159 liters) for the North Sea variety Brent, which is important in Europe, it is far higher than last year. The demand for fuel and competition among petrol stations also play a certain role. In addition, according to ADAC, prices fluctuate by several cents during the day – they are typically particularly high in the morning rush hour and lowest in the evening.

WHAT IS THE FUEL PRICE IN HISTORICAL COMPARISON?

According to ADAC, 2012 was the most expensive tank year to date. At that time, the E10 cost an average of 1.671 euros per liter in September, diesel at 1.524 euros. At the moment we are still a long way from that – although the general price level has also risen since then due to inflation.

If, on the other hand, you only look at the recent past, the increase in fuel prices is glaring: in 2020 they collapsed due to Corona. Since May of last year, the Super E10 has risen by almost 40 cents and diesel by almost 35 cents per liter.

WHAT CAN POLITICS DO WITH RISING FUEL PRICES?

What a possible “fuel price brake” brought into play by Scheuer is completely unclear. Politicians could lower the energy tax – but it is one of the most important federal taxes with billions in revenue. In general, a higher commuter allowance would also be possible to relieve the burden.

HOW ARE OTHER PARTIES AND ASSOCIATIONS ABOUT THE CO2 PRICE?

The Greens are calling for a faster increase in the CO2 price: the price should rise to 60 euros from 2023. The Greens want to create a social balance and give the income from the CO2 price back to the people in full through an “energy money”.

SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, on the other hand, had already warned in June against turning the “fuel price screw”. From the SPD-led Environment Ministry, it is currently said that it is important that there is reliability in the CO2 price. It will be increased gradually so that citizens and companies can adjust to it and is a “reliable graduated rent”.

The ADAC warned on Wednesday against relying too heavily on price signals to achieve climate protection targets: “The CO2 price is an important, but not the only, instrument for reducing CO2 emissions in traffic,” emphasized a spokeswoman. This is especially true when there are no alternatives to the car in rural areas.

To compensate for this, the ADAC believes that an increase in the commuter allowance would make sense. On the other hand, he does not believe in price guarantees: “The assumption that the state can guarantee a cap on the price of fuel is unrealistic,” said the spokeswoman. (dpa / gem)

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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