TTADA: Exemptions on hybrid vehicles, pure mamaguy

TT Automotive Dealers Association president Visham Babwah.  -
TT Automotive Dealers Association president Visham Babwah. -

TT Automotive Dealers’ Association (TTADA) president Visham Babwah has knocked Government’s new policy on hybrid vehicles, saying while it had provided exemptions for hybrid and electric cars, whether new or used, this would not have much effect on the middle or lower class, who are set to be most affected by the increase in the price of fuel.

“To start with, the exemptions would not make much of a difference in price because of the three-year limit on foreign used cars. These vehicles are still costly and difficult to get, and that causes the price to be high. We need this age to be adjusted to six years,” Babwah said.

He added that the exemptions announced by Finance Minister Colm Imbert was the first time a government gave an exemption based on the combined kilowattage of a hybrid vehicle.

He explained that a hybrid car is made up of two drive trains, one is the internal combustion engine and the other is the electric motor.

He said that through calculations, the kilowattage of the combustion parts of the car, can also be determined.

“They gave an exemption on electric cars in the budget last year but the policy (on hybrid electric vehicles) is contradictory."

Babwah said Government was saying if you have a hybrid car you are going to be taxed for the electric component of the car.

"For hybrid cars, if you have a motor with more than a 4500 kw capacity, you will be taxed. How could you charge for the electrical components of the car when you are giving full exemption to electric cars?”

He said the policy should have focused on putting taxes on vehicles based on capacity of the internal combustion components.

He added that he has not yet seen any vehicles of a reasonable size that would fit within the limits of the exemptions. He added that the vehicles like the Honda Vezel have a combined kilowattage of about 112 kw. The limitation on the combined kilowattage is about 74 kw.

He also pointed out that there were limitations to the kilowattage of the motor. The Aqua hybrid vehicle runs on a 54 kilowatt motor the limitation on motor kilowatt for exemptions is 45 kw.

“The minister just pulled wool over the people’s eyes. We are not seeing any vehicles that we can import that would qualify for these exemptions. I am calling on the minister to identify what vehicles can be imported that would qualify.”

On Friday, Imbert said Cabinet agreed to waive taxes and customs duties on suitably sized imported hybrid motor cars, both new and used. The exemption will cover cars with an engine size not exceeding 1600 ccs, an electric motor generating 45 kw, a total power output of 78 kw and are no more than three years old.

“These tax concessions will be designed to cater for typical car owners and will not be available for owners or importers of high-end luxury hybrid cars,” Imbert said on Friday.


"TTADA: Exemptions on hybrid vehicles, pure mamaguy"

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