Gov't plugs into EV policy

By Balford Henry
Observer senior reporter

Friday, March 08, 2019

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Last week, newly appointed Science, Energy and Technology Minister Fayval Williams said that the g overnment was looking to place major focus on the development of an electric vehicle (EV) policy.

According to her, this innovation represents part of the Government's commitment to creating a “diversified, environmentally sustainable and efficient energy sector that provides affordable and accessible energy supplies to Jamaicans”.

She said the move will create an enabling environment for the use of technology in the public transportation space.

“The stage is set to explore and share ideas for joint ventures, and our local business community welcomes the partnership as both our nations enter a new phase in our clean/renewable energy journey,” she said.

The minister said the implementation of the electric technology represents one area that could benefit from the application of public-private sector partnerships.

She also said her ministry will strengthen the regulatory and institutional framework to increase private investment and transition to cleaner fuel by finalising regulations for net billing, auxiliary connections and power wheeling. This will allow persons to generate their own energy from renewable sources.

Electric vehicles considered significantly cleaner and safer for the environment than traditional fuel-powered vehicles.

EVs differ from fossil fuel-powered vehicles in that the electricity they consume can be generated from a wide range of sources, including fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewable sources such as tidal power, solar power, and wind power or any combination of those. The carbon footprint and other emissions of electric vehicles varies depending on the fuel and technology used for electricity generation.

As of March 2018, there are some 45 series production highway-capable all-electric cars available in various countries. As of early December 2015, the Leaf, with 200,000 units sold worldwide, is the world's top-selling highway-capable all-electric car, followed by the Tesla Model S with global deliveries of about 100,000 units. Leaf global sales achieved the 300,000 unit milestone in January 2018.[19]

In fact, as of May 2015, more than 500,000 highway-capable all-electric passenger cars and light utility vehicles have been sold worldwide since 2008.

Interestingly, electric motive power dates back to 1827.

In fact, in 1900, 28 per cent of the cars on the road in the United States of America were electric. EVs were so popular that even President Woodrow Wilson and his secret service agents toured Washington, DC, in their Milburn Electrics, which covered 60–70 mi (100–110 km) per charge.

However, a number of developments contributed to the decline of electric cars, including improved road infrastructure which required a greater range than what offered by electric cars, and the discovery of large reserves of petroleum in Texas, Oklahoma, and California led to the wide availability of affordable gasoline and petrol, making internal combustion powered cars cheaper to operate over long distances.

But, during the last few decades, environmental impact of the petroleum-based transportation infrastructure, along with the fear of peak oil, has led to renewed interest in an electric transportation infrastructure.

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