Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

France is aiming to lower carbon emissions by raising its pollution tax on large vehicles with a new law adopted by parliament earlier this week, Bloomberg reports.

By the numbers: Cars that emit carbon dioxide above a certain threshold will be subject to a 20,000 euro penalty — more than the current fine of 12,500 euros. France's finance ministry is projecting 50 million euros annually in revenue from the tax — those yields will be used to support automakers' shift to cleaner energy.

The government is meanwhile looking to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles, per Bloomberg.

Between the lines: The new legislation comes as the European Union prepares to phase in new emissions standards that will fine automakers if their yearly sales exceed an average carbon limit.

The bottom line: "The measures show policy makers are still finding their way on how best to back a shift to cleaner cars," Bloomberg writes.

Our thought bubble: European regulations are tougher than the U.S., and they're coming much faster. This is why the French are enacting these measures, aimed at forcing the shift to electric vehicles.

  • If you give people an incentive to buy an EV and a disincentive to buy an SUV, you can really push the market quickly. Substituting one for the other may not make much of a difference.
  • Eventually, you should be able to take the EV incentives away, but not yet. The market is still in its infancy.

Go deeper: Electric vehicles are coming, but no one is sure how fast

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Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Voters in Wisconsin, Michigan urged to return absentee ballots to drop boxes

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic attorney general of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes, warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3. In Michigan, absentee ballots must also be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

30 mins ago - Technology

Facebook warns of "perception hacks" undermining trust in democracy

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Facebook warned Tuesday that bad actors are increasingly taking to social media to create the false perception that they’ve pulled off major hacks of electoral systems or have otherwise seriously disrupted elections.

Why it matters: "Perception hacking," as Facebook calls it, can have dire consequences on people's faith in democracy, sowing distrust, division and confusion among the voters it targets.

Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage"

Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.