(L-R) Gaetan Babin, Managing Director of the Reef Resort; Hong Nguyen, Cayman Automotive Office Manager and Personal Assistant to John Felder; Richard Speciale, Board Member of the Reef Resort
By Kevin Shereves
Caribbean News Now contributor
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman is now a part of the electric vehicle (EV) generation, becoming the first hotel in the Caribbean to offer a charge station for their guests and visitors who are driving or renting EVs.
The fully automated ChargePro EV charge station was installed by U-Go Stations Cayman Ltd. Mounted on a pedestal, the charge station is located in the main Reef Resort parking lot area. Charge station users receive a smart card for authentication. Users simply swipe the card and the ChargePro station will identify who they are and will automatically allow them to charge your vehicle.
The unit is equipped with wireless technology, allowing direct communication with the central server and transmits real-time data to the network operation centre. The charge station carries an 18 foot cord and a J1772 plug for easy charging access to the EV, including the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus and Wheego LiFe.
Often hailed as the “electric car hero” of the Cayman Islands, John Felder, CEO of Cayman Automotive, is a considered a pioneer in promoting EVs in the Caribbean.
Commenting on the Reef Resort’s showcasing of the new charge station, Felder said, “The Reef Resort management has made a very bold move by being the first hotel in Grand Cayman and the Caribbean to offer this service to their customers. This move will lead to increased traffic and business to the hotel.”
Felder also stated that the demographics of electric vehicle enthusiasts are the best in the world, and that the numbers are growing daily.
Gaetan Babin, managing director of Reef Resort in Grand Cayman, is also very excited to be a part of this green initiative.
“When we were first approached by John Felder, and asked if we were interested in supporting his initiative, the entire team at the Reef endorsed our commitment to become the first resort in the Caribbean to offer an electric charging station for the island’s electric vehicles,” Babin said.
He added, “Our fragile environment blends well with the support of green energy. We are proud to provide this service and congratulate John as a leader in providing this service never offered before in the Cayman Islands both for its residents and visitors.”
In January, Budget Rent-A-Car of Grand Cayman became the first company to offer EVs for rent on the island, and their Wheego LiFe all-electric vehicle was onsite during the showcasing of the new charge station at the Reef Resort.
Speaking at the unveiling, Brian Krug, president of Budget Rent-A-Car Cayman, said, “Budget is proud to be a partner with The Reef and we look forward to the possibility of expanding the EV concept as we move forward.”