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Is Jamaica's entry into the electric vehicle market a good idea?

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has a statutory responsibility to regulate the provision of specified utility services (electricity, telecommunications, water, and sewerage). This is done under the provisions of the OUR Act and, where applicable, sector specific legislation and regulatory instruments. A critical aspect of the OUR's mandate is to ensure the provision of economically priced and reliable utility services to Jamaican consumers.

As part of its forward-looking approach to regulation, the OUR has noted the trends and promises of electricity vehicle (EV) technology to ensure that the local electricity sector is primed to take full advantage of emerging opportunities. The OUR has developed preliminary recommendations that are currently the focus of public consultation from research into markets that are successfully adopting EVs.

Globally, electric vehicles (EV) are becoming increasingly popular as environmentally and economically viable alternative means of transportation. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global EV sales grew in 2020, even while the rest of the vehicle market sales contracted by 19 per cent from the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The IEA projects that, globally, the number of battery-powered and hybrid vehicles could increase from 10 million in 2020 to nearly 140 million by 2030. See Figure 1.

A major factor fuelling the rapid growth is EVs is the announcement by world-leading motor vehicle manufacturers that they will be moving away from manufacturing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to manufacturing EVs.

The introduction of EVs in Jamaica is in the very embryonic stage, while, over the past 10 years, some regional countries have been gaining positive experience in the adoption of EVs. According to Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), Jamaica had approximately 536,000 ICE motor cars registered in 2018, whereas only 10 EVs are registered. It is, however, encouraging that three public charging stations have been installed since the beginning of this year.

With over 400 EVs, Barbados is one of the world's top users on a per capita basis ( Forbes, December 2018). The Cayman Islands has 44 fully electric cars and 31 hybrids registered and licensed. These are supported by 15 operational EV free charging stations.

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Article from: Jamaica Observer 

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