When we think Porsche, we think the common man. Especially after reading the latest missive from the UK press office of the German automaker all about precision. In a move reminiscent of the German Blitz of World War II, except without the whole bombing thing, Porsche is calling for a judicial review on the Mayor of London's decision to up the congestion charge from £8 to £25 on cars entering the city that produce above a certain level of CO2 emissions. That's a 213% increase! It's actually worse for residents in the congestion zone. These poor folks currently pay just 80p a day and now they'll also have to pay the new £25.00 charge - that's a rise of over 3000%! But don't worry, Porsche is here to look out for all you common folk.

That's right, you know — the common folk who drive "Band G" cars with CO2 emissions of 226 g/km or above — drivers of "everyman" cars like the Porsche Cayman S, 911 Carrera Coupe, 911 Targa 4, and — oh bloody hell — every car Porsche makes. OK, we're tweaking Porsche a bit, especially because somehow we feel like those who've bought a Porsche can probably afford the new charge. But we agree with Porsche — this type of legislation that only causes a minor reduction in CO2 emissions does more to stymie real efforts than encourage them by causing bureaucrats to spend more time defending their actions than making real changes. Example A would be the response from the Mayor's office — which we've helpfully included along with the Porsche judicial challenge below. (Hat tip to Kyle and Stoatmaster!)

PORSCHE PRESS RELEASE:

Porsche announces intention to start judicial review process against Mayor and Transport for London over unjust 3000% congestion charge increase

Porsche Cars Great Britain has announced its intention to make an application for judicial review of the proposed extension in the London congestion charge, which will see the cost of driving some cars in the capital rise from £8.00 a day, or just 80p if they are residents in the congestion zone, to £25.00 a day.

Porsche believes the proposed increase in the congestion charge for Band G cars is unfair, that the increase - 3025% for Central London residents - is 'disproportionate' and that it will do nothing to achieve the stated aim of decreasing emissions in central London.

Commenting on the Porsche action, Andy Goss, Managing Director of Porsche Cars GB, said, "A massive congestion charge increase is quite simply unjust. Thousands of car owners driving a huge range of cars will be hit by a disproportionate tax which is clear will have a very limited effect on CO2 emissions."

Porsche will be writing to the Mayor this week. The Mayor will then have 14 days to respond to Porsche. If the Mayor fails to respond to Porsche's letter or refuses to reconsider his plans, Porsche intends formally to submit its application for judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice summary of the judicial review process is given in a separate document to accompany this release).

Mr Goss added, "Not only is this rise completely unfair to many drivers, but it will also damage London based-businesses of all sizes, and successful people from across the world will start to think twice about basing themselves here if they think they are going to be used as cash cows for City Hall. The proposed increase will be bad for London as a whole and will send out the signal that it is not serious about establishing itself as the best place in the world to do business."

MAYOR'S RESPONSE:

Statement on Porsche challenge to CO2 charge
19-2-2008 112
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: "Porsche's threatened legal action is a double attack on Londoners. First Porsche are trying to deprive Londoners of their democratic right to decide in the Mayoral election on 1 May whether they want gas guzzling and polluting cars to drive in London when there is absolutely no need for them to do so. Second they are trying to impose on all Londoners unnecessary levels of pollution and greenhouse gases by a tiny minority. No one is allowed to throw their rubbish in the street and Porsche should not be allowed to impose gas guzzling polluting cars on Londoners who do not want them."