THE CEO of the EDB (Economic Development Board*) answered our questions about fossil fuels in Mauritius. The full interview will be published in our next edition of the magazine.

“Petroleum products account for about 20% of our total imports. Our most energy-intensive sectors are transportation and manufacturing, which account for almost 70% of our total energy consumption. As announced in the last budget, the first phase is to decarbonize our electricity production. The electrification and modernization of our transportation sector will further reduce our dependence on petroleum products. On the other hand, by encouraging households and other economic actors, especially industrial and commercial, to produce electricity for their own consumption through renewable sources, a decrease in our imports of fossil fuels is recommended.

To the question, “Is the increase in gasoline prices intended to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles?” the CEO states:

“An increase in the price of gasoline is one of the factors that may encourage consumers to switch to electric vehicles. The Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities published a report in 2018 on the integration of electric vehicles for Mauritius. The introduction of the metro is a major step in the electrification of our transportation system. The extension of the metro line and the subsidies announced in the budget on electric buses will accentuate this process. It should be noted that several major car manufacturers have already announced their intentions to move to 100% electric production by 2025-2030. Among them are Jaguar, Mini, Volvo and others. In addition, the excise tax on electric vehicles, which ranges from 0 to 15% compared to 60% or more on conventional vehicles, is an added incentive for electric vehicles. The 2021/2022 Budget also makes provision for fast-charging stations, as well as the possibility of tax deductions for electric vehicle owners to invest in renewable energy charging units to prepare for the transition. Unfortunately, the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is still higher than conventional vehicles and may seem expensive if you look at that figure alone. There is a need to raise awareness about the purchase cost compared to the total lifetime operating cost of a vehicle, which is less for an electric vehicle owner than for a conventional vehicle owner. * The EDB’s mandate is, among others, to provide strong institutional support for strategic economic planning and ensure greater coherence and effectiveness in economic policy formulation; promote Mauritius as an attractive investment and business center, a competitive export platform as well as an international financial center (IFC); act as the lead institution responsible for branding the country for investment promotion; and facilitate inward and outward investment and ensure a conducive business environment.

Interview by Jacques Rombi
Photography : Fabien Dubessay