Commentary & Analysis
The coming demise of diesel
Patrick Hoyos
Dec 22, 2019
In photo above: Ford's new electric, that is, non-diesel, F-150, due out by 2021, according to Motor magazine.

We have a BERT program that is said to be passing all of its stress tests, according to its independent monitoring committee, the BERT MC. Of course, as noted here previously, BERT MC was not happy with the transfers still being given to some of the statutory corporations not yet under its aegis, suggesting this could topple the whole apple cart if not reined in.

Today, I want to propose that we also need a BRET, and I don’t mind if it also has its own MC.
BRET is my lovely acronym - as I’m sure you will agree after I tell you all about it - for Barbados Renewable Energy Transformation prgramme, not to be confused with the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation programme.
I am making this no doubt bold proposal after spending many sleepless nights. Okay, the lack of sleep was because I was doing my accounts in that super New Zealand-created accounting program Xero - yes, with a X - and not because of this proposal.
Nevertheless, I think the Mottley administration is just paying lip service as to how we are supposed to get to fossil-free energy status by 2030, which I have already said before, but it seems truer every day.
Only last week it was reported that Volkswagen, which has already paid out US$33 Billion bucks for playing tricks with its diesel engines, was raided again in Germany.
This time the investigators are looking for information on another engine which they believe was also being falsely equipped to fool the pollution testers. Here’s a good quick summary from Car & Driver magazine:
“German prosecutors raided Volkswagen's Wolfsburg, Germany, headquarters on December 3, as part of a fresh investigation into diesel VWs. This time, they are reportedly interested in the EA288 four-cylinder engine, successor to the EA189 diesel engine around which the Dieselgate investigation has centered. Reuters cited Volkswagen as saying the EA288 engine did not have a "defeat" device to beat emissions testing.”
News in 2015 that Volkswagen had used devices to cheat emissions tests has so far cost the company about 30 billion euros (US$33 billion) in fines, vehicle refits and legal costs, and also triggered a global backlash against diesel vehicles, Reuters noted.
Volkswagen said when the scandal broke that about 11 million vehicles worldwide were fitted with the illegal software. The result has been that the screws are tightening around diesel, and says the website, nine countries are planning to ban new newly-purchased diesel-engine vehicles.
The United Kingdom wants all types of diesel cars off the road by 2040, and all cars on the road by 2050 to be zero-emissions only.
France will match the UK's plan for combustion-engine cars by 2040, allowing only electrical vehicles or other alternative clean vehicles, along with hybrids on the road.
Germany has also made some moves to removing diesel cars from their roads in the not-too-distant future. In fact, many German cities have already started to ban older, more polluting cars from their roads.
India is planning to remove all diesel-engine cars from their roads by 2030, replacing them with primarily electrically-powered alternatives by that time.
Norway is slightly more ambitious than others with plans to make sure all new cars are zero-emissions by 2025.
China announced they would ban gasoline and diesel-engine cars back in 2017, but has not committed to an actual date, but some regions are already making progress, however.
- Taiwan also wants to stop the sales of all new diesel and gasoline engine motorcycles by 2035 and four-wheeled vehicles by 2040.
- Belgium has not yet committed as a nation to banning diesel-engine cars, but some cities already have. Brussels, for example, has instituted a low-emission zone that attracts a 350 Euro fine for non-compliance. It's yet to be seen if this will be rolled out across the country.
- Japan, is said to be working with its car manufacturers to ban diesel cars. Major Japanese manufacturers like Toyota, Honda and Nissan, announced that they plan to ensure that all new cars are either electric or hybrid by 2050.
So the pillars of my BRET program wold be to ban all new diesel-engines now and provide further incentives to get dealers to stock hybrids or all-electric vehicles. Also, let us take a point from U.S. senator Chuck Schumer’s plan and provide grants or low-interest loans to malls and commercial building owner to equip their parking lots with charging stations.
So the net effect of BRET would be to reduce the consumption of diesel from the service stations and increase the consumption of electricity at home or at work as hybrids or EV charge up during the day.
There also has to be a training component, and for a time there could be tax incentive associated to encourage dealers to train their mechanics in the EV or hybrid requirements.
The point here is that we cannot wait until 2025 for this. We need to get started now. Apart from everything on the macro and climate change level, haven’t you seen the two-and three-mile long lines of traffic on our roads in the morning and afternoon? This also must be seriously bad for our citizens health, especially the young student who walk through it every day to school.
It’s not their fault they have to do it, but they will pay the price aa they get older, so let us keep them in mind as we undertake my wonderful new BRET policy. Now we need some music. Where de MC?
Dec 16, 2019
Commentary & Analysis

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