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Cayman Islands pioneers use of electrical vehicles in the region
Published on February 24, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

John Felder, president and CEO of Cayman Automotive (L) hands over the first electric cars to Brian Krug, president of Budget-Rent-A-Car in Grand Cayman

By Kevin Shereves
Caribbean News Now contributor

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- A new way of using renewable energy sources in the region is being pioneered in the Cayman Islands by way of electric vehicles (EVs), with a view to long term economic and ecological sustainability.

Cayman Automotive has reached an agreement with Budget-Rent-A-Car in Grand Cayman that the company will be the first to offer 100 percent all-electric vehicles for rent in the Caribbean.

John Felder, president and CEO of Cayman Automotive, said that by increasing the proportion of EVs on Cayman roads, the island would cut expensive petroleum imports.

“Adding solar powered charging stations would reduce expensive diesel-powered electricity production, thereby rendering the air cleaner,” he explained.

The green initiatives of which Felder spoke are likely to propel the Cayman Islands to centre stage in potentially creating a massive change in the way people act and think about their own carbon footprints.

“Visitors from all over the world will be welcomed to our islands with an emissions-free choice of transportation,” said Felder. “When visitors observe our natural environment, tourists will understand why we have worked so hard to introduce EVs here, and throughout the Caribbean.”

Gearing up for a boom in the local tourism industry, Brian Krug, president of Budget-Rent-A-Car of Grand Cayman is also very enthusiastic. “We are proud to be the first rental car company in the Caribbean to rent electric cars starting this winter and hope to build upon this concept going forward.”

Pleased to support any initiatives that will serve to protect the environment in the Cayman Islands, Krug said, “Our tourists visit this island to enjoy the natural beauty, and we must do everything we can even in the smallest way to preserve it.”

The first vehicle that will be offered for rent through Budget-Rent-A-Car Cayman will be the Wheego LiFe, which is manufactured in California, where most of the EVs are assembled in the US. The corporate headquarters are in Atlanta Georgia.

Susan Nicholson VP, PR and corporate communications for Wheego All-Electric Cars, said, “We are excited for Cayman Automotive as they continue to innovate and advance environmental causes in the Caribbean. They have been a wonderful ambassador for our vehicles, and we look forward to introducing our EVs to a broader audience through Budget Rent-A-Car.”

The Wheego LiFe runs on an electric motor and is powered by rechargeable battery packs. Traveling approximately 100 miles on a single charge, the Wheego LiFe can be recharged from any 110V outlet, or from a solar panel charging station, which have been already strategically installed throughout Grand Cayman and will generate electricity using pollution-free solar cells, thereby reducing carbon emissions to zero.

Felder further emphasized that the Wheego LiFe All-electric among a fleet of EVs will serve an important role in protecting the natural environment of the Cayman Islands and beyond for generations to come.

EVs are therefore proving that they are pivotal in paving the way to many environmental benefits. They emit no tailpipe pollutants and also reduce on-road vehicle noise. By offering better air quality EVs are helping to significantly reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.

Cayman Automotive has exclusive relationships with seven franchises for the distribution of EVs throughout the Caribbean and, as new markets emerge, Felder said, “Cayman Automotive is poised to lead the revolution on economic and environmental sustainability throughout the Caribbean and help change the world with the use renewable energy sources such as EVs, solar and wind power.”
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