Zana Nesheiwat explains how New Zealand has been responding to oil's virtual monopoly of transportation fuel. Her article was originally published in Oil Price.
island country began its alternative-fuels program in 1979. Financial
incentives given by the New Zealand government to citizens for
converting their cars to run on replacement fuels, combined with
incentives to industry for developing a fueling network, enabled 140,000
vehicles to be converted to CNG or propane through 1985. Unlike
Brazil’s alternative fuel program, which placed an emphasis on newly
manufactured vehicles, New Zealand relied on vehicle conversions...
through a cooperative relationship between businesses and government,
New Zealand has made real progress toward greater fuel competition.
"This is not to say that the U.S. or any other government must introduce
costly and unreasonable incentives to drive the transition to
alternative fuels and gain consumer acceptance. Rather, the government’s
role is to enable an open fuel market — one in which new businesses
will compete, prices will fall and innovation will drive efficiency and
"Providing consumers a choice between fuels when
filling up their gas tanks will ignite competition that will bring down
fuel prices. The safe and efficient use of fuels, such as ethanol and
methanol, can be used to expand consumer choice and would require slight
modifications to existing vehicles..."
One quick way to this goal is to pass the Open Fuel Standard. Click here to help us make it happen.
Read the whole article here: A Lesson From the Kiwis.