More businesses bet on electric

There may be an influx of electric-powered vehicles on Grand Cayman if government ever permits them for use on the roads.

The Caymanian Compass wrote last month about one company, Electra-Tech, which has been trying to import the vehicles for more than a year.

Electric-powered vehicles

Electric-powered vehicles may soon be on Caymans roadways. Photo: Submitted

Last week, John Felder with Cayman Automotive said he’s jumping on the bandwagon too.

‘Once (the licensing department) grants approval, we will offer these vehicles to the general public,’ said Mr. Felder.

There are indications business owners may get their break sooner rather than later.

On 16 February, while announcing plans to toughen up the country’s traffic regulations, Works and Infrastructure Minister Arden McLean noted there would be a review of Traffic Law amendments relating to electric vehicle legislation.

‘We’re talking about that,’ said Mr. McLean. He said the Traffic Law review would also encompass regulations for handicap transports and derelict or abandoned vehicles.

Mr. McLean has previously said electric-powered vehicles will eventually be developed to the point where government won’t have any option but to let them into the country.

However, he also raised concerns about whether the electric cars being manufactured now were too slow, and whether they would protect passengers adequately if involved in an accident with larger, heavier gas-powered vehicles.

The cars Mr. Felder wants to import are made by Global Electric Motorcars, a Daimler-Chrysler company. They travel at a maximum speed of 25-30 miles-per-hour, go 40 miles before needing a re-charge, and cost between $6,000 and $12,000.

The vehicles can be charged by plugging the batteries into a standard household electric outlet. They are classified as ‘low-speed vehicles’ in the US, which means most states only allow the cars to be used on roads with a speed limit of 35 miles-per-hour or less.

Mr. Felder said Cayman Automotive will only ship in the cars if government gives licencing approval. He said the number brought in at first would depend on demand.

But both Mr. Felder, and David Phipps of Electra-Tech, believe there will eventually be a huge market for electric cars in Grand Cayman.

‘Electric cars is where it’s at,’ said Mr. Phipps in a previous interview with the Caymanian Compass.

‘They (government) have a tremendous interest in having these vehicles for a limited use,’ Mr. Felder said.

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