Red light on for electric car

A Little Cayman motorist is on the road to nowhere with his environmentally friendly electric car.

Sonny Rhian, of Head O’Bay, bought the vehicle, which cannot exceed the island’s speed limit of 25mph, from the US last year.

But when he went to arrange the paper work to ensure it was legal to drive, he was told it could not be licensed.

‘I am really disappointed because we are not able to use the vehicle off our property,’ said Mr. Rhian, who has held a drivers licence for over 40 years.

The dinky little car which can seat two in the front and two in the back, is plugged in to charge overnight.

It can then go for 75 miles – around seven laps of the island – before it runs out of power.

It is equipped with all safety features and meets standards specified by US federal regulations,

Prior to buying and importing the $12,000 car, Mr. Rhian did his research to ensure it would also meet the Cayman Islands’ government requirements.

‘It seemed like the ideal vehicle for Little Cayman because it cannot go faster than the speed limit,’ he said. ‘I would use it to drive to the store and for picnics and snorkelling trips, things like that.’

The vehicle falls in with recommendations in a 10-year plan drawn up by Little Cayman’s 2008 Committee which advocates environmentally friendly transport, including electric cars.

Mr Rhian also pointed out that the car was the ideal transportation to have in the event that the island runs out of gas, which happened after Hurricane Ivan.

As the Caymanian Compass went to press, the Licensing Department was looking into the matter.