Euro 5 diesel for Klang Valley as early as June?POSTED BY ON 06 March 2015
SHELL and BHP are vying to be the first to sell Euro 4M diesel since diesel is now non-subsidised and according to automotive industry bosses, the clean fuel could be available as early as June.
The car companies are already on the ball and Bermaz, for instance, is organising its ‘Mazda Clean Diesel Challenge’ tomorrow in Thailand. As you read this, a group of Malaysian journalists including our own Durrani are driving from Chengmai to Penang to KL.
The only delay now are the Ministry of Finance officials who have to give the official go-ahead for the oil companies to start selling non-subsidised Euro 5.
“We submitted our letter requesting for permission to sell non-subsidised Euro 4M diesel two months ago when the government removed fuel subsidies,” an oil company executive said on condition of anonymity. He is not authorised to speak to the media.
“We have already ordered the special blue hoses to dispense the Euro4M diesel at the service stations. But we can’t proceed with the petrol stations’ renovations until the MOF gives the go-ahead.
“Once it gives the green light, we can modify some of the fuel stations in two months,” he said.
“But no letter means we can’t start anything.”
Malaysia has lagged behind Thailand and Singapore with its Euro 2M fuel standard but when Euro5 diesel was released in Johor last year, it was the start of Malaysia’s road to clean diesel.
In January this year, the International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Sri Mustapa Mohammed announced that Euro 5 will make its pitstop in the Klang Valley beginning this year with a nationwide coverage by 2020.
The availability of clean diesel, including Euro 4M, will open a new playing field for European car makers such as VW, Peugeot and Citroen.
The Europeans are way ahead in diesel technology and it’s only recently that Mazda has gained a lead in this compression ignition system with its low-compression SkyActiv diesel engine technology.
Diesel, which is about 30 per cent more efficient compared to petrol, is thriving in Europe where fuel is taxed. Carmakers in that continent consequently have focused their engine range on diesels.
However, the only availability of Euro 2M diesel, which contains 500ppm of sulphur compared to Euro 5 diesel’s much lower sulfur content of 10ppm, in Malaysia so far has blocked VW’s and Peugeot’s larger penetration of the passenger car market.
Not only will these companies have bigger chances of diversifying their portfolios but we could be seeing higher foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Malaysia, which means foreign companies will want to invest more in Malaysia’s automotive industry.
Last year, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia purchased a small fleet of C200 CDIs for its own internal testing, using Euro 2M diesel. Just imagine how much more efficient the model can run on clean diesel.
BMW already has a decent line-up of diesel vehicles and according to its managing director and chief executive Alan Harris, more people would be keen to purchase their diesel-power cars if Euro 5 diesel was more accessible, especially in the Klang Valley.