25 Jun 18

Colombia seeks to remove diesel vehicles

Following the current trend in several European countries, Colombia's ministry of environment and sustainable development is now pushing to gradually remove diesel-powered vehicles from streets.

According to a proposal by the ministry's deputy minister of policy and environmental standardization Willer Guevara Hurtado, Colombia needs and economic and social policies council which would be deemed Conpes.

This council would regulate and toughen air quality control standards and eventually remove these types of vehicles from streets. Each year, some 14,400 tons of harmful particles are released into the air and approximately 8,000 people die due to poor air quality, according to the deputy minister.

"In general, the particles are produced by the burning of fossil fuels, gasoline and diesel," Hurtado was quoted as saying by local news service La Patria. As such, the ministry is aimed at promoting the use of cleaner energy such as electric vehicles (EV) and even gasoline-powered behicles, while discouraging the use of diesel.

deputy minister Willer Guevara Hurtado (Source: Mexican paper Extra)

To encourage EVs, there is no IVA added value tax on these types of vehicles and the ministry sees this benefit to stimulate some 47,000 EV cars registrations in the country within the next 10 years.

Among the strategies of the ministry is to have colored labels for cars, meaning that the more environmentally friendly ones will have less restrictions when it comes to circulating in cities. For instance, those with red labels will face the most restrictions. In the end, the goal of the ministry is to fully implement Conpess into the federal government's plan by 2030. 

In the Numbers

-Approximately 70% of Colombia's pollution comes from its vehicle fleet, of which 60-70% comes derives from diesel emissions, according to the deputy minister.
-Buses and trucks generate 75% of the city's pollution, followed by motorcycles with 24%, according to studies from the national university.

-Colombia demands some 3.2bn gallons of fuel pe year, of which 54% is for gasoline and 47% for diesel.

-In related news, it is estimated that the Netherlands will have no diesel vehicles by 2025 and Germany will get rid of theirs by 2030.

Although the world's powertrain mix is definitely on the brink of significant change, dramatic predictions about the death of diesel may be premature, according to some experts. See more here.

Authored by: Daniel Bland