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, 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.
Yet 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 association with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of American States, are excited to announce a stakeholder workshop 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. The event will feature brief problem statements followed by breakout sessions in which participants will brainstorm solutions. Findings will be shared with the larger group. Following the event, a Roadmap will be published and widely distributed detailing action items for Caribbean governments, businesses, civil society, and international donors.
Follow this event on Twitter at #DialogueEnergy.