Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 23rd 2014 Contents A12
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 23, 2014
The public is hereby notified
that Celebrate Committee
proposes to apply to the
Authority (EMA) for a variation
in accordance with the Noise
Pollution Control Rules 2001
for the Event/Activity described
Date of Event/Activity:
Wednesday 31st December
Description of Event/Activity:
Ole Year's Night Party
Address of Event/Activity:
Trinidad Country Club,
Duration of Event/Activity:
7 hours: 9.00 p.m - 4.00 a.m
The Public is invited to submit
comments within 5 working
days of the publication of this
Notice to the EMA. 1122052
CHARLES KONG SOO
Importing hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)
older than two years is fraught with problems
in sourcing spare parts, servicing, and dealing
with outdated technology.
This is the view of Managing Director of
the online automotive site TriniTuner Ltd
He was speaking in reference to president
of the T&T Automotive Dealers' Association
(TTADA) Vishram Babwah's comments that
the tax exemption on hybrid electric vehicles
not older than two years, which was announced
by Finance Minister Larry Howai during the
2014-2015 budget presentation, be extended
to six years instead.
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian, Boodas-
ingh said, "Hybrid and electric car technology
has improved vastly over the past two to three
"Even some modern gasoline and diesel
cars today can rival the efficiency of early
hybrids, from say six years ago. What is the
"Newer electric car technology today is far
more efficient and seamless for the driver than
it was just three years ago.
"In a new market like T&T, it would be best
for the consumer and the dealer to not have
to deal with obsolete technology soon after
importing it here."
He said bringing hybrid or electric cars older
than two years old may pose a problem with
availability for parts, an issue that was more
apparent based on how old the vehicle was
and its mileage.
Boodasingh said the Toyota Prius was per-
haps the most popular hybrid car worldwide
but someone cannot get parts for it imme-
diately in the Bamboo.
Fast electric supercars
He said hybrid and electric cars had only
begun being truly highway capable around
two to three years ago.
Boodasingh said most electric vehicles man-
ufactured before 2010, Neighbourhood Electric
Vehicles (NEVs), were made for neighbourhood
driving and perhaps only the electric supercar
Tesla Roadster was highway capable since
He said Tesla Motors, Inc was actually the
second largest seller of electric vehicles selling
about 43,000 electric vehicles since 2008,
trumped only by the Renault-Nissan Alliance
selling 176,000 all-electric vehicles so far.
Boodasingh said Be Forward Japan Ltd, a
used-car exporter lists a 2012 Honda Civic
hybrid with a 1500cc engine for around
US$10,000 in Japan ready to be shipped to
He said in contrast, Brandname Motors T&T
Ltd, a premium pre-owned car dealer has said
with the proposed tax exemptions, the Tesla
Model S may cost around $625,000 for the
entry level 60 kWh (electric vehicle engines
are measured in kilowatt hours) model and
up to $825,000 for the faster and sportier 85
kWh model on the road.
Boodasingh said there was a more econom-
ical sedan to be released by Tesla which may
cost around $260,000 on the road. These
prices are for brand new vehicles.
Savings and incentives more attractive
He said hybrid electric vehicles are expensive
but the savings and incentives now are greater.
Boodasingh said in most parts of the world,
consumers pay a premium for hybrid or electric
vehicles knowing they will eventually save
money at the pump.
He said given the relatively cheap price of
electricity in T&T, it's hard to find a disad-
vantage other than parts and service.
Boodasingh said in T&T the motoring public
can have its cake and eat it too, or electricity
and drive it too and hopefully the tax exemp-
tions do not go the way of CCTV and security
cameras, as they were still uncertain whether
they were exempt or not.
Babwah: Give citizens
alternate choices to CNG
When contacted for comment, Babwah said
for more than three years, TTADA had been
the only group advocating for the importation
of hybrid and electric vehicles.
He said he had imported two hybrid electric
models previously, the Toyota Prius at a cost
of $145,000, and the Honda Civic at $135,000,
which he wants to bring down to $100,000,
as opposed to a new hybrid Prius at $408,000,
and an all electric Nissan Leaf which sells for
$160,000 to $170,000.
Babwah said for the hybrid electric alter-
native fuel initiative to work, it must be given
a fair chance in terms of incentives which
would include tax exemptions going beyond
more than two years.
He said the association had no problems
with the five-year trial period for the hybrid
electric vehicles and it was not discounting
the use of CNG (compressed natural gas).
Babwah said car manufacturers in Japan do
not install CNG kits in their vehicles. He said
when the Government implements its CNG
policy, removing the gas subsidy and raising
gasoline prices, the public would be forced to
He said, however, citizens must be given
alternate choices and hybrid electric vehicles
should be made more accessible to them.
Old hybrids fraught with problems
...sourcing spare parts, servicing, dealing with outdated technology
Advantages and disadvantages of
conventional gas-powered vehicles and
hybrid electric vehicles
•The benefits hybrid electric vehicles
have over conventional gas-powered
automobiles are a cheap source of elec-
tric power in T&T, better fuel economy,
lower fuel costs, lower carbon footprint,
a reduction in greenhouse gases and
other emissions, lower maintenance
costs, less wear and tear on the engine
and is quieter.
•Electric cars use expensive batteries
but the technology is steadily advanc-
ing, extending their lifetime to 12 to 15
years. Coupled with increased produc-
tion volumes, prices are expected to
decline. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
(PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles (EVs)
can be charged from your wall plug at
•The fuel savings enjoyed by hybrid
and electric vehicles are offset by their
significantly higher cost. They are more
difficult to source parts and services
•Other factors are a lack of recharg-
ing infrastructure, other than home
charging, downtime recharging which
may range from a few hours to
overnight and range anxiety, the driver's
fear of the electric vehicle running out
of power before he reaches his desti-
nation or charging station, and expen-
sive replacement batteries.
•Traditional gasoline and diesel-
powered vehicles generally cost less
than hybrid electric vehicles, and have
no need to worry about running out
of battery power or finding a recharging
station as these conventional fuels are
relatively cheap and available at the
nearest gas station.
•Parts are more available locally and
mechanics and service providers are
more familiar with the conventional
combustion engines, greater resale
value, and traditional gas and diesel-
powered vehicles have made great
improvements in fuel economy while
maximising increased horse power.
•Combustion engines have more
working parts than their hybrid electric
counterparts which entails more trips
to the mechanic. Many automobile
purists say that the lack of noise on
a HEV is disconcerting and prefer the
reassuring sound and feel of a gasoline
engine. One of the biggest disadvan-
tages heard is that hybrids and electric
vehicles will not take off with the "Fast
and Furious" crowd.
GAS-POWERED VS HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Duane Boodasingh, managing director of TriniTuner.com, behind the wheel of his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 at Wallerfield Raceway.
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