Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Reasons for liberalising the usage of diesel powered vehicles.

Here are all the reasons why the usage of diesel powered vehicles in Singapore should be liberalised. Read on if you are interested.

Oct 5, 2005
Bosch to showcase latest diesel cars here

THE diesel lobby hopes to change the Government's deterrent stand on diesel passenger cars here. Bosch, the world's largest maker of automotive diesel systems, will hold a Diesel Day next month.

The German company is shipping in a fleet of the latest BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Volkswagen diesel cars to showcase to regional customers, fleet owners and the Singapore authorities.

Mr Lee Keen Yoong, general manager (sales) at Robert Bosch South-east Asia, said the event, to be held on Nov 7 and 8 at Kallang Carpark C, could include test drives along Nicoll Highway.

'We want to show that modern diesel cars are environmentally friendly, fun to drive and powerful,' Mr Lee added.

Bosch is among a host of European car companies that have been trying to persuade the authorities to rethink punitive taxes on diesel passenger vehicles.

An owner of a diesel Mercedes-Benz E220 car would have to fork out $12,404 in annual taxes, compared with $1,772 for an equivalent petrol car. There are fewer than 10 diesel passenger cars here.

Mr Lee said Bosch hopes to clear up the notion that diesel cars are smoky. 'Like all other vehicles, if they're not well-maintained, they'll have emission problems,' he said.

Those that meet the stringent Euro IV emission standards - running on ultra-low sulphur diesel available at Shell kiosks here - are environmentally sound.

More so if they are equipped with filters that trap and incinerate fine soot, which poses a health risk, before it can escape through the exhaust.

This is partly why the authorities are more partial to vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), offering new tax rebates, with a sweetener. A CNG cab is not liable for the $5,100- a-year diesel tax.

Mr Lee said that diesel passenger cars are already being sold in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.

Coming soon - diesel-electric hybrids, which are more efficient than the petrol-electric version.


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