Rule on electric cars awaited

The matter of whether electric cars should be legally allowed on the road in Little Cayman has been passed to Cabinet.

The issue was highlighted by the Caymanian Compass last week when Sister Islands’ resident Sonny Rhian said he was still unable to license his vehicle, almost a year after importing it.

Mr. Rhian of Head O’Bay in Little Cayman, who has held a driver’s licence for more than 40 years, bought the $12,000 car because it cannot exceed the island’s speed limit of 25mph.

It is equipped with all safety features and meets standards specified in US Federal regulations.

Besides Mr. Rhian’s attempts to license his vehicle, a Little Cayman couple was thwarted when trying to set up a business renting out electric cars.

Chris and Nikki McCoy took out a trade and business licence four years ago but could not proceed with the company.

‘I was advised by Director of Licensing, David Dixon, that the laws needed to be changed to allow these electric vehicles to be licensed in Cayman,’ said Mrs. McCoy.

‘These vehicles are manufactured to be street legal and accepted as neighbourhood vehicles everywhere else.’

Despite writing to the Licensing Department, they heard nothing further about the matter.

‘When we initially came up with the idea, we thought it would be great for the tourism market here and shared our idea with Mr. Rhian, who wanted one personally,’ added Mrs. McCoy.

‘My husband and I sat on the Vision 2008 planning team and this was an initiative that was whole heartedly agreed upon and was accepted and ratified by the then government.’

Electric cars were considered to be eco-friendly vehicles, in line with committee recommendations.

Mr. Rhian’s electric car is plugged in overnight to charge and can then be driven for 75 miles – about seven laps around the island – before it runs out of power.

The issue is due to be considered by Cabinet in the next couple of weeks.