The amount of pollution the current methods of transportation creates in any country is astronomical and no doubt takes a heavy toll on our planet.
With the ever-rising cost of materials and cost of fuel needed to move anything, manufactures and governments all over the world have been looking for new and more efficient ways to ease the cost of the day to day transportation and waste creation.
Currently, the European Union and United States have all began taking steps to ban the sales of fossil fuel vehicles by 2035 to be replace with Electrical and or Hydrogen powered vehicles.
Where does this leave SVG’s ability to facilitate this shift in gobal transportation. It is time for government to come up with a feasible plan for the foreseeable future, before 2035 to put infostructure in place for its people so that we do not incur the hardships that may inevitably take place due to such a shift.
It would be fair to say that when such a shift happens fossil fuel based vehicles cost of fuel will become astronomically high and completely throw the transportation industry out of wack and Vincentians will be left scrambling for a solution.
What are the solutions
The alternatives to fossil fuels that the international powers are suggesting as the new world energizer are hydrogen fuel and electricity. Currently SVG has no proper means of supporting these type of vehicles. One might say that electric vehicles can be charged at home but my question to those who say so is, can our fossil fueled generators and current electrical grid’s infrastructure handle such a nation wide load increase? What if every home or even 60% of homes had an EV( Electrical Vehicle) could Vinlec cost effectively support that while producing power from fossil fuel generators? I would think not, seeing how the 2021 Volcanic eruption caused thousands of Vincentians to move to various areas causing a strain on the current system Vinlec has in place. Vinlec themselves made public statements about this. In hydrogen fuels case it is the same as stations would be have to be designed to be most effective. These solutions are not a matter of if but when!
Something must be done
It is painfully obvious that the need for state of the art EV charging stations and possibly hydrogen fueling stations will be needed for the foreseeable future before 2035. I think purposing this to the nation will not only garner votes but also investors, who will be eager to grow with the changing times of the international market. It will create new path ways for Vincentians to pursue study in, create more jobs, more businesses as well as support the old all while reducing SVG’s carbon foot print.
The current administration wants to push Vincentians towards the importation of newer vehicles. This has me a bit concerned because I fear that they not looking far enough into the future of the automotive industry and auto motive legislation.
Hear me out on this!
The majority of Vincentians cannot afford a vehicle with in a five gap of its manufactured date, meaning that the majority of the vehicles being imported are used vehicles what first world countries would consider as older model vehicles. Now, because the current administration imposed 12 year ban on vehicles imported, it limits on the high side not just the age but also price point in which vehicles can be bought and imported into St. Vincent, including all taxes involved. Let us say the average Vincentian imports a car between 8 and 11 years after its manufactured, date that would mean that the majority of Vincentians are approximately a decade behind being up to date with manufacturers’ and what they produce due to regulations.
Manufacturers already know that the EU and US want to impose a ban on the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by 2035 so they are now pressed to produce EVs and HVs for the average person within their countries by or before that date. However even in doing so Vincentians who are only able to afford vehicles at a 10 year gap will be left with the immediate gobal price hike in fossil fuels. I hope you can see how the strategy of pushing Vincentian’s to import newer vehicles is a recipe for disaster not just for the people but also the government if certain measures are not taken now to make up for the 10 year gap.
Written by Kamal Bacchus Browne