Govt phasing out gas, diesel vehicles

(Barbados Nation)From next month, Government will be looking to phase out the importation of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Minister of Energy Kerrie Symmonds, speaking after a 40th anniversary service for the National Petroleum Corporation at Sanctuary Empowerment Centre, Country Road, St Michael, said it was part of the effort to eliminate dependence on fossil fuels by 2030.

He added Government was leading by example, with the fuel import bill ranging from $450 million to $800 million a year.

“Wherever it is possible, we will be sourcing new vehicles which will be either electric or hybrid from April 1 in the hope of the private sector following pattern. Part of the challenge is that the planning windows in international marketplaces are very short, so therefore vehicles are made with the view of five years down the road as technology changes. So there are not electric vehicles in every type of model to replace all in Government’s fleet or across the island,” he said.

Symmonds said his ministry had been conducting studies on the performance of electric and hybrid vehicles as well as training and maintenance, so Barbadians would be comfortable using them. He said they would also have to improve the infrastructure so there would be more charging ports readily accessible.

He added the plan included phasing out of diesel vehicles in agriculture and transport, such as tractors and buses, for green energy models. 

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