Electric Mobility in the Caribbean: Paving a Path to Sustainable Transport

Caribbean nations are uniquely positioned to reap major benefits from electric vehicles (EVs). Small and generally with flat terrain, Caribbean islands face less concern about battery range than many countries. The abundance of sunshine could provide renewable solar power for EVs on a significant scale. EV adoption can also reduce reliance on fuel imports, which creates extreme economic vulnerability linked to oil price fluctuations. A boost in EV sales could also contribute to disaster resilience through energy storage—EV batteries can serve as backup power sources during hurricanes.

Electric vehicle uptake is on the rise in the Caribbean. In Barbados, car dealer Megapower has sold 300 EVs—more than are on the roads in many large Latin American countries. Utilities in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and St. Lucia are installing EV charging infrastructure. Bermuda is developing a strategy for transitioning to an electric bus fleet, with the ultimate goal of fully transitioning the transport sector to EVs.

While a few countries are making impressive progress, the majority of Caribbean islands are not reaching their full potential for electric mobility. What are the key barriers to adoption of EVs in the Caribbean, and what policies can governments implement to overcome them? How can utilities, auto makers, and other private sector players help promote EVs in Caribbean nations? How can international organizations and financial institutions support these efforts?

The Inter-American Dialogue and New Energy Events, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of American States, are excited to announce a high-level dialogue at the 2019 Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum designed to move the needle forward.

Participants will include Caribbean transport and energy ministers, utility CEOs, investors, auto industry representatives, and electric mobility experts. Following the event, a report will be published and widely distributed for Caribbean governments, businesses, civil society, and international donors.

See all events and publications related to the Dialogue’s Latin America Clean Transport Initiative.

Agenda

9:30am – 10:00am

 

 

Welcome remarks

 

 

 

Marcelino Madrigal Martínez, Principal Energy Specialist & Electric Mobility Leader, Inter-American Development Bank

 

 

 

Juan Cruz Monticelli, Section Chief, Energy & Climate Change, Organization of American States

 

10:00am – 10:30am   

 

 

Stage-setting & Objectives

 

  • Warm-up polls e.g. how persuaded are we that 100% e-mobility is a viable and worthwhile objective for a Caribbean jurisdiction?
  • Open microphone, room-wide discussion, based on findings of poll, on opportunities and hurdles to transition.
  • What are the alternatives?
  • What can we all agree on?

 

   

Lisa Viscidi, Program Director, Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries, Inter-American Dialogue

 

10:30am – 11:15am                             

 

 

CARIBBEAN PACE-SETTER: LESSONS LEARNED FROM MULTI-STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION IN BARBADOS

 

  • What has Barbados achieved to date? Current landscape for electric vehicles (penetration, policy, regulation, infrastructure)
  • What are future objectives? How are those objectives aligned with broader targets for clean energy transition?
  • What conversations took place between the private sector and the public sector to get to where we are today? Who were the key voices at the table?
  • What would Barbados have done differently?
  • What are the critical lessons learned?

 

   

Panelists                                                                    

 

Francine Blackman, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, Government of Barbados

 

     

Jo Edghill, Co-Founder and Director, Megapower Ltd.

 

     

Antonio Sealy, Systems Engineer, Barbados Light and Power Company

 

   

Moderator                                                 

 

Veronica Prado, Energy Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank

 

11:15am – 12:00pm                                   

 

 

DISSECTING NATIONAL PLANS TO TRANSITION THE  REGION’S TRANSPORTATION SECTOR

 

  • Bermuda and the Cayman Islands have ambitious objectives for both a clean energy transition, and for public sector and private road-users
  • Have stakeholders aligned behind a common vision? What is that vision? What is the timeline?
  • How did that alignment happen and what can we learn?

 

   

Panelistas                                                    

 

Gregg Anderson, Executive Director, Energy & Utilities, Utility Regulation and Competition Office, Cayman Islands

 

   

 

 

Roger Todd, Director, Department of Public Transportation, Government of Bermuda

 

   

Moderator                                                                   

 

Lisa Viscidi, Program Director, Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries, Inter-American Dialogue

 

12:00pm – 12:45pm   

 

 

INTERNATIONAL PACESETTERS

 

 

 

Panelists

 

Lorraine Akiba, President and CEO, LHA Ventures

 

 

 

 

Guillermo Areas, Head of Government Relations and External Affairs, Latin America and the Caribbean, BMW Group

 

 

 

 

John Halliwell, Senior Technical Executive, Electric Power Research Institute

 

 

 

Moderator          

 

Kathrin Bimesdörfer, Principal, Cadmus

 

12:45pm – 1:00pm

 

 

the wrap

 

  • What have we learned?
  • What can we all agree on and has that changed over the course of the workshop?
  • Poll revisited: how persuaded are you that 100% e-mobility is a viable and worthwhile objective for a Caribbean jurisdiction?
  • What are the key takeaways?

 

 

 

Marcelino Madrigal Martínez, Principal Energy Specialist & Electric Mobility Leader, Inter-American Development Bank

 

 

 

Juan Cruz Monticelli, Section Chief, Energy & Climate Change, Organization of American States

 

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