While the hot news was on hybrids and the only significant topic on the diesel front in Budget 2011 was on the implementation of the B5 programme (Blending of Biofuels with Petroleum Diesel) on a mandatory basis in some states by June of next year, there remains the hope that the Government will continue to look at improving the quality of petroleum diesel as another step in lowering carbon emissions.

BMW Group Malaysia is of the belief that such an approach is not only a viable alternative but a very sound one at that, with the following commentary on Budget 2011, which you will find after the jump. I think the key is here the comparison between the 320i and the 320d. Makes lots of sense really, when compared to what the United Nations defines the hybrid standard as.

While BMW Group Malaysia is pleased to hear of the government’s continued focus on the development of Green Technology and commitment to reducing carbon emission intensity, we hope that the government will provide the full details regarding its plans to introduce the B5, Blending of Biofuels with Petroleum Diesel Programme prior to making it mandatory by June 2011.

Biodiesel in the form of esterified Palm Methyl Ester (PME) can and have been used as a cleaner fuel alternative in some parts of the world when blended in small amounts with natural petroleum diesel. However, the most pressing issue that needs to be addressed locally is to ensure that fuel standards in Malaysia are collectively improved to Euro IV standards as a minimum, as this would be the most effective and wide spread method of reducing carbon emission intensity throughout the Malaysian passenger and commercial vehicle segments.

Furthermore, it is vital that the government also introduce incentives to encourage the ownership of Advanced Diesel vehicles in Malaysia, such as was done with the extension of import and excise duty exemption on hybrid vehicles. The fact of the matter is that while Hybrids are designed to be environmentally friendly, they are not the one all and be all solution to promoting sustainability or reducing carbon emissions.

As a matter of fact, under current standards established by the United Nations, the definition of hybrid cars requires that their engine specifications are of at least Euro 3 specification technology and have achieved not less than a 25% increase in combined city-highway fuel economy, relative to a comparable non-hybrid vehicle with a maximum carbon monoxide (CO) emission rating of 2.3 grams per kilometre.

Advanced Diesel engines such as those developed by BMW are already available with Euro 3 technology and specifications. Additionally, the fuel economy comparison between a BMW 320d and the BMW 320i will provide consumers with a 40% reduction in fuel consumption, not to mention a CO2 emission rating of only 0.326 grams per kilometre.

Based on these points alone, Advanced Diesel vehicles should be viewed as far exceeding the “Green” requirements and would significantly boost the government’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, particularly, in light of Malaysia’s ongoing commitment to reduce carbon emission intensity per Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 40% in the year 2020 to 2005 emission levels.

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Budget 2011: BMW Malaysia dreams of cleaner fuel, government support for clean diesel technology