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Old 8th May 2013, 15:29   #31
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Default Re: Running cars on Vegetable Oil (as fuel)

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Originally Posted by KL54 View Post
Lets not expose our British friend to our habits prevalent here!
I don't see why not. He clearly has an interest in the Indian automotive scene. The things that happen on the road are part and parcel of that, don't you think?

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They can also turn up at remote farms, unannounced and check vehicles - farmers use 'red diesel' in their farm machinery which is just over half the price of road diesel. The temptation can be too great for some! Also at rural shows and agricultural sales. I'm told that if you are caught with red diesel (or kerosene etc) in your fuel, they look to see how many miles you have done in the vehicle since purchasing it and from the concentration of illicit fuel in your tank, work out how much tax you have avoided. They then ask you politely for it; there are cases where people have lost everything, such is the amount owed.

Our authorities also snoop on public internet forums - one clown advertised his use of non road fuel on one such forum and had a little visit. It sounds as if you are all glad you don't live in our carefully policed and regulated society! Freedom takes many forms - the duty collected on fuel goes a long way to paying for our free (at the point of use) National Health Service.

However the 'man in the street' isn't powerless, we had a massive fuel strike by petrol and diesel tanker drivers a decade ago when prices first shot up very high and the country was paralysed. The strike ended just before everything ground to a complete halt - government has been careful not to push too far with fuel prices ever since, from a taxation perspective. Which means that prices are still extremely high, but chancellors daren't carry on adding as much extra tax as they would like.

The illegality of using plant/veg oil here without declaring yourself as a 'fuel producer' and paying duties owed ended in 2007 when it became clear that the cost of collecting and processing this revenue was greater than the revenue itself - a lot of people were sending in cheques for very small amounts of money on a very regular basis - haha!
What exactly is red diesel? And how come people end up losing everything when they're asked to pay up? Heavy fines on top of the tax that was avoided?

If we got some serious benefits out of paying tax, I'm sure no one would mind paying. But the taxpayers money is so shockingly misused here, that everyone avoids it as much as they can. Just read a few articles, cause if people start listing the scams and issues, it'll turn political, which isn't allowed on T-BHP.
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Old 8th May 2013, 15:58   #32
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Default Re: Running cars on Vegetable Oil (as fuel)

Red diesel is normal diesel (whatever that is) with a red marker die added and a chemical marker too. It can show up in your tailpipe and fuel lines hundreds or even thousands of miles after it has stopped being used. In other European countries it is sometimes a different colour - so blue diesel, for example.

If the authorities decide you owe them 30,000 from lost fuel revenue and a fine too, and you can't pay up in a certain time then they will impound your property to sell.

KL54, I don't think there is a single nation on earth where people don't try to get away with things to some extent or other, it's an entirely human response. But the very wealthy manage to do it on a much grander scale yet are almost never brought to book.

One of our newspapers mentioned enterprising motorists using cooking oil in an editorial when a few people were sentenced and fined for not declaring it (when that was the law), casting doubt on the sense of the state's behaviour and suggesting that a more enlightened country may not take such a mindless approach.

I couldn't find that editorial, but here is a comment from the same newspaper from around the same time. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/p...e-country.html
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Old 8th May 2013, 21:33   #33
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Default Re: Running cars on Vegetable Oil (as fuel)

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Red diesel is normal diesel (whatever that is) with a red marker die added and a chemical marker too. It can show up in your tailpipe and fuel lines hundreds or even thousands of miles after it has stopped being used. In other European countries it is sometimes a different colour - so blue diesel, for example.
So if it isn't allowed on the road, what is it for?
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Old 9th May 2013, 00:38   #34
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So if it isn't allowed on the road, what is it for?
AFAIK, Red diesel carries lower tax compared to Regular Diesel and must be used only for certain categories like Agriculture/farm equipments etc.

OT here but, It is more of subsidized diesel for certain categories and shall not be used for general purpose. This is something that India should adopt to normalize diesel prices for non-subsidized use.
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Old 9th May 2013, 05:14   #35
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Default Re: Running cars on Vegetable Oil (as fuel)

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So if it isn't allowed on the road, what is it for?
By and large, agriculture. But like the rest of the UK's taxation system, there are horrendous complexities which have landed people in deep water. (Not all the public servants who work in the tax offices have a good understanding!)

You are not meant to use agricultural vehicles to do agricultural things on a public road, but you are allowed to drive to your field on a road - on red diesel. Hedge cutting is meant to be illegal on red diesel (a tractor with a hedge cutter attachment), but everyone knows that no hedges would ever be cut if the full price diesel were used and this is largely ignored.

You used to be able to power your water pleasure craft on red diesel (if you were so crude as not to use the wind!) but in recent years this has been removed. However, most boats also use diesel for their heating and generators, so with one fuel tank the situation is laughable. The authorities have baulked at the idea of insisting on separate tanks (I think) and it is expected that you come up with a realistic percentage of how much is used for propulsion and how much for everything else, with tax applied accordingly!

There is a European idea that subsidised diesel should be removed from sale since it is so widely abused and creates all sorts of tax-collectors' nightmares - instead it is suggested that farmers et al should make a record of how much diesel they use on the land and should claim this figure back every year. Potential for more tax chaos.

With road fuels taxed at around 70% in the UK (and close to that in a lot of Western Europe), there is a lot of bad feeling about fuel taxes. But in the West, we are taken advantage of at every level (especially when it comes to the motor vehicle) by government. Running a so-called 'free-market economy' - which is anything but - is as hazardous as what we used to have, where even the price of chocolate biscuits was set be government. The amount of money circulating is artificially boosted in the aim of increasing revenues, but subsidies to those with less money and to farmers who have to compete in a world market (to name just two) are enormous.
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Old 9th May 2013, 15:06   #36
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Default Re: Running cars on Vegetable Oil (as fuel)

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Originally Posted by FlatOut View Post
By and large, agriculture. But like the rest of the UK's taxation system, there are horrendous complexities which have landed people in deep water. (Not all the public servants who work in the tax offices have a good understanding!)

....

With road fuels taxed at around 70% in the UK (and close to that in a lot of Western Europe), there is a lot of bad feeling about fuel taxes. But in the West, we are taken advantage of at every level (especially when it comes to the motor vehicle) by government. Running a so-called 'free-market economy' - which is anything but - is as hazardous as what we used to have, where even the price of chocolate biscuits was set be government. The amount of money circulating is artificially boosted in the aim of increasing revenues, but subsidies to those with less money and to farmers who have to compete in a world market (to name just two) are enormous.
That is horrendously complicated, but with good reason, I feel. Considering the fact that diesel for agricultural use needs to be subsidised.

The fuel taxes are pretty high over here too. It's something like 50%, but if you look at the PPP (purchasing power parity), India is easily in the top 5 most expensive.

Diesel is heavily subsidised on the whole over here. In Delhi, petrol costs INR 67 (or so) and diesel is priced at INR 49! This is why diesel vehicles are so popular. Sure, they're most expensive to purchase, and the government tries to compensate for the subsidisation by taxing them a little more, but it's all an eyewash really. If diesel was bought to parity, the government could reduce the overall tax on fuel and the prices of both fuels would drop. But on the other side of the coin, the entire country runs on diesel, and the increased cost of diesel would mean more expensive goods.

All this really does champion the cause of using vegetable oil as a fuel!
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Old 9th May 2013, 17:16   #37
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Default Re: Running cars on Vegetable Oil (as fuel)

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Sure, they're most expensive to purchase, and the government tries to compensate for the subsidisation by taxing them a little more, but it's all an eyewash really.

All this really does champion the cause of using vegetable oil as a fuel!
Well, up until 2000 most diesels were so simple and tough they went seemingly forever with nothing more than oil and filters. The EU's tightening up on emissions means that the engines have become steadily more complex, to the point I would not consider buying one. It is most likely that tiny di petrol engines with turbos are the future, they are all that will meet forthcoming emission rules.

Prior to 2000, if a diesel had fuel in the lines, and the engine was ok, then once the engine was turning it would start and run without any electrics. Let alone electronics and computers. VW was first with mass-produced direct injection diesels in the late 80s, and they did require a computer and sensors to run properly, but they weren't common rail (or the later pump duse unit injection) and have proved extraordinarly tough and reliable. They were available until 2000 in most VWs and Audis, until 2004 in other VW group cars such as the Skoda Octavia.

When did VW and Skoda start importing diesels? Whether or not I intended to use a variety of fuel, in India I think I would choose to run a non-TDi variation, turbo or non-turbo - they are completely bomb-proof and with no electronics running the show. Sometimes I hear of the repair costs for replacing something as simple as one injector - which is nothing more than a threaded plug with a pipe connector on one end and a nozzle on the other. Hundreds of s (around 50,000Rp), once the hugely-expensive injector has been replaced and recoded to the car's computer. The older type diesel could have an injector removed and reconditioned for 30 (2500Rp), no doubt less in India - our hourly rates at a garage range from 30 to 80, more at a dealer.

The irony is the old-style injectors never failed, maybe a recondition after 200,000km, but these new types fail routintely and the whole injection sytem is very, very intolerant of varying-viscosity and poor diesel. (I will not mention dual mass flywheels, variable vane turbos or other nasties!!)

An old non-TDi VW would average 45mpg (16km/l) and the computer controlled ones 55mpg (19km/l). Common rail engines are similarly slightly more economical.
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Old 10th May 2013, 12:54   #38
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Default Re: Running cars on Vegetable Oil (as fuel)

Thanks Flatout. This makes very interesting reading.
This is the first time I have heard about red diesel and how a dye is used as a telltale mark to differentiate how the diesel has been used.I wonder if it would be possible to adopt the same method in India (despite corruption rearing it's ugly head) to supply subsidized fuel to the agricultural and transport sectors and fuel at market prices for public consumption. This should bring about parity between the prices of petrol and diesel.
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Old 11th May 2013, 02:43   #39
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Default Re: Running cars on Vegetable Oil (as fuel)

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Thanks Flatout. This makes very interesting reading.
This is the first time I have heard about red diesel and how a dye is used as a telltale mark to differentiate how the diesel has been used.I wonder if it would be possible to adopt the same method in India (despite corruption rearing it's ugly head) to supply subsidized fuel to the agricultural and transport sectors and fuel at market prices for public consumption. This should bring about parity between the prices of petrol and diesel.
The thing is, the system is open to enormous amounts of abuse. There have been countless individuals caught using red diesel, businesses caught 'cleaning' fuel so it is less identifiable as red diesel and so on. For every prosecution, how many have got away with it?

The plan is to phase the marked fuel out and ask those using it (legitmitately) to claim back the extra tax they have paid at the end of the year. At a stroke, this would mean that there would be nobody using red diesel. Trouble being, other fuels such as kerosene (not taxed or allowed for road use) can easily be made suitable for use in diesel engines. You stop one scam and create another.

Britian has a massive problem with over-taxation and over-complex taxation. As a country, we run the economy with everything artificially highly-priced to generate more tax revenues. Those who lose out and who have to sell in a world market are sometimes compensated, like farmers. There are many advantages to this, but it is a bit of a knife edge to tread, and a country can start paying out more than it is losing since hugely high house prices (where this artificial economy starts) mean many are unable to live a reasonable life and pay for a house, either buying or renting. And also risking huge uprisings as fewer can afford to live without government support. Red tape prevents you from building your own cheap home, rules and laws abound to restrict the housing supply.

A few people think outside the box and help minimise Man's devatation of the planet and ourselves (that is a good thing about avoiding fossil fuel, you save a lot of money), running a car on waste veg oil is one of them. Some enlightened farmers are doing the same with their tractors and other farm machinery. The best bit about not having to go to a fuel station to fill your tank is that you start considering all your other energy demands and how they are unnecessarily wasteful. It also teaches you just what a massive amount of energy the motor vehicle uses - it is a very greedy device. This will have to change as fossil fuel prices escalate out of control as the costs of mining it increase exponentially.

Last edited by FlatOut : 11th May 2013 at 02:45.
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Old 3rd August 2013, 04:07   #40
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Default Re: Running cars on Vegetable Oil (as fuel)

Our temperatures have soared over the last couple of months to the high 20s - a little too warm for many a hard-working British man! But the benefits when it comes to burning veg oil instead of dirty diesel are manifold - it takes less time to collect the used from hotel kitchens, less time to settle and dewater, less time to filter and less time to pump into the fuel tank. If that isn't enough of 'less', it's also far easier for the vehicle with thinner fuel - the lift pump has an easier time of it, the first few minutes of running are much more pleasant and at full power with a powerful (so thirsty) engine the fuel flows down the lines more quickly, so there is indeed more power. How lucky you all are to live in a warm country!

No doubt much of the solid veg oils which have to be turned in to biodiesel to be rendered useful for the car engine here could be used without a problem in India!
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