A modern car tax regime would cut Guyana’s fuel import bill in half
Referring to recent reports of an ethanol plant proposed for Guyana, I would like to draw the attention of the public and government officials to facts about ethanol in petrol engines. Ethanol is only used in new cars under the manufacturer’s warranty, and is not recommended for used cars without having the fuel system replaced. Ethanol corrodes engines and fuel system components, shortening their life span. Brazil has ethanol as standard because the cars are manufactured and engineered in Brazil for ethanol-mix petrol.
Ethanol is less dense than petrol requiring more for combustion, meaning you have to buy more gas/ethanol-mix fuel than regular petrol. Ethanol is used as a fuel alternative instead of importing fuel; it is not an environmental friendly substitute, since plants grown for ethanol are not for food consumption. Ethanol farms use far more toxic chemicals to achieve growth thus poisoning groundwater. This is one the main reasons why ethanol production is being reduced in the USA.
Basically ethanol-mix petrol makes no sense to the Guyanese public and will create economic hardship with poor fuel economy and damaged engines.
If Guyana wants to reduce its petrol import bill the simplest solution would be to import 1000cc and smaller Japanese cars and European clean diesel cars; both achieve above 60 miles per gallon as opposed to 28 miles per gallon of 1500cc cars such as the Toyota Allion.
1000cc cars are taxed at almost the same rate as 1500cc cars, encouraging the purchase of the larger gas guzzlers. Diesel European cars are reaching 80 miles to the gallon. New, more fuel-efficient cars are taxed at 45% duty, 30% excise tax and 16% VAT, forcing the public to buy inefficient older cars.
An updated modern car tax regime will cut Guyana’s fuel import bill in half and benefit the public greatly.