Cayman Automotive has been at the forefront of the promotion of electric vehicles in Cayman.
In March, company owner John Felder brought the Chevy Volt to the island where it became the first electric vehicle to be licensed to drive on Cayman’s public roads. Unlike fully electric cars, the Volt can also run on gas, so can legally be driven on Cayman’s roads.
Now, Mr. Felder plans to introduce the Caribbean’s first 100 per cent commercial vans and trucks to Cayman in the third quarter of 2011.
“The reception [to the Volt] has been very positive and we have several clients now waiting on the duty reduction on electric vehicles promised by Premier McKeeva Bush… This will make a significant difference in the landed cost as the duty now is 42 per cent, which puts the vehicle out of reach for most consumers,” he said.
Mr. Bush has said he would see if a 10 per cent reduction on import duty fees for the car could be introduced.
A network of 14 designated electrical charge stations are currently in process of being constructed which will be a joint venture between CUC and Cayman Automotive Leasing. Final details are still being worked out which will also include a solar panel option. This will mark the first time in the Caribbean that such technology will be utilized.
“Grand Cayman will be the model for the rest of the country as electric car owners and drivers will have the ability to recharge their electric vehicles from West Bay to Kaibo,” said Mr. Felder.
He admits he is disappointed that 100 per cent electric vehicles, such as the Zenn which he introduced to Cayman in 2009 and the GEM which was the first electric vehicle in Cayman and which can now be seen on security patrol in Camana Bay, have not yet been approved.
He said he hoped an amended law would pay tribute to the late Sonny Rhian in Little Cayman who purchased an electric vehicle but died before getting to drive his vehicle legally because of the Traffic Law.
“He was truly a visionary person that I wanted so much to meet. I do stay in touch with his family and keep them abreast of current events surrounding the electric vehicle legislation,” Mr. Felder said.
He also plans to create of a vocational scholarship for a deserving Caymanian student in honor of Mr. Rhian through Cayman Automotive. “Details are being completed now,” he said.