Annual sales of light duty vehicles are projected to double in 2030 and triple in 2050 compared to 2013 figures in Mauritius. In 2011, Mauritius implemented a revenue neutral vehicle taxation system – feebate system – that imposed a fee on vehicles with CO2 per kilometer (g/km) emission above the threshold of 158 g/km and provided a rebate for vehicles emitting below this threshold. This CO2 threshold was lowered in November 2013 to 150 g/km.
The taxation system has incentivized the importation of more fuel economy vehicles, with the number of hybrid cars being imported doubling each year (2010 to 2013). In addition, the average fuel economy of the fleet has improved from 7 l/100km (corresponding to CO2 emission of 186 g/km) in 2005, to an average of 6.6 l/100km (and a reduction of CO2 emission of 169 g/km) in 2013.
The government has also adopted cleaner fuel standards (50 ppm sulphur) and is looking at implementing other sustainable transport policies. Additional measures that will promote importation of more fuel efficient vehicles are being further analyzed.
The GFEI and the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management (MoESDDBM ) of Mauritius supported a vehicle inventory study to analysis the average fuel economy trends following the adoption of a CO2 based taxation system for imported vehicles.
The CO2 levy/rebate scheme was introduced in July 2011 to align the vehicle taxation system with the Maurice Ile Durable (MID) vision. A revenue-neutral levy rebate system was put in place, under which a motor car buyer pays an additional amount as penalty per gramme of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) emission above a set threshold of 158 g/km. On the other hand, a buyer receives a rebate if the CO2 standard emission of the car is below the CO2 threshold of 158 gramme per km. This threshold was revised in November 2013 and lowered to 150 g/km.
Discussions are on-going to further revise this threshold and/or revise the vehicle taxation system, in addition to other measures to promote importation of fuel economy vehicles in Mauritius.
In 2012, Mauritius lowered its sulphur content in diesel from 2500 ppm to 50 ppm to support the cleaner vehicles now being imported.
Funding is provided by the GEF and the European Commission.
The MoESDDBM set up a National Task Force Committee (NTFC) comprising of stakeholders from public and private sectors to pilot the GFEI project. Three Sub-committees – “Vehicle Inventory”, “Fuel and Vehicle Legislation” and “Cost-Benefit Analysis of Policy Options” were respectively set up.
The Sub-committee on Vehicle Inventory was responsible for calculating the national auto fuel economy trends. The Sub-committee on Fuel and Vehicle Legislation was responsible for reviewing existing national fuel and vehicle legislations, incentives, standards and come up with recommendations. The Sub-committee on Cost-Benefit Analysis of Policy Options was responsible for analyzing the Vehicle Inventory and Fuel and Vehicle Legislation reports with the main objective to identify measure and value the economic, financial and social benefits and costs of identified policy interventions in reducing CO2 emissions and average fuel consumption. The final reports of the 3 sub-committees were presented at a stakeholder workshop in November 2014.
In April 2015, Phase 2 of the project – scheduled for completion in June 2017 – was signed. This phase includes the updating of the vehicle efficiency data for the period 2014 &15, operationalization of the additional policies, and regional dissemination of the findings. A Steering Committee has been set up at the Ministry to oversee the project with five Working Groups being formed to analyze the technical issues and one on financial matters.
It was recommended that a high level committee bringing together the Ministries of Finance, Environment and Infrastructure is set up to review the recommendations of the task teams and map the way forward.
The expected benefits of the project are threefold:
– improving energy efficiencies lower the oil import bills for the government and total oil consumption for the consumers;
– improved urban air quality especially from lowering the sulphur content of the fuel; and
– reduced greenhouse gases from better fuel economy and lower energy use for the same levels of distance travelled.
More fuel-efficient vehicles are being imported into Mauritius after the introduction of a feebate taxation system in 2011, (revised in 2013) improving the profile of the national vehicle fleet in a revenue-neutral fashion. A further review of this tax system is envisaged in phase 2 (2017) of the project. The MoESDDBM is looking at introducing a system to monitor the benefits.
GFEI and MoESDDBM are providing advice and support about developing similar fuel economy policies to other governments in the Africa region.
The programme in Mauritius is seen as being possible to replicate in other countires. Mauritius has provided technical support to Algeria to analyses their vehicle fuel economy, as well promoted the need for vehicle fuel economy within the Southern Africa region. Fuel economy efforts are also being undertaken in Kenya.
Africa, Mitigation, Cars, Policy, Partnerships, Awareness
Global Fuel Economy Initiative (UNEP and Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management of Mauritius)
Jane Akumu, Transport Unit, UNEP Email: jane.akumu @unep.org
“The vehicle fleet has increased substantially during the last decade and peaked up to about 443,500 in 2013 as compared to some 276,400 vehicles in 2003. This is a 60.5 % increase and this trend of is very likely to continue. This has also resulted in the emissions of some 969,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide from land transport in 2013, representing 25.3% of the total emissions of the energy sector.”
Hon. Devanand Virahsawmy, former Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development