Evergo, Jamaica's largest public electric vehicle (EV) charging network, celebrated World EV Day, Saturday, September 9, in fine style at Hope Gardens, St Andrew.
"Compared to last year it's significantly more impressive and we can see the growth where electric mobility has taken, not just a root, but growing in Jamaica." Wayne McKenzie, president and CEO, Evergo, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.
McKenzie added that the increased participation this year was not only a positive for the local eMobility market, but climate change in general.
World EV Day was created four years ago to unite companies, individuals, policymakers, and thought leaders across the globe for a day of activations and announcements that highlight the eMobility movement. The year 2022 was the best yet for the worldwide effort.
Evergo joined the endeavour last year with an event held in St Ann bringing together local stakeholders, automotive dealers with their various EV models, EV product distributors, service providers, Evergo customers, EV enthusiasts and interested members of the general public for an informative and fun day.
The big news at the event was the announcement by McKenzie that Evergo would be moving into the home and commercial EV charger market, while updating its current Level 3 public charging unit. All three were unveiled at the event.
The first new charger is aimed at EV owners needing a home charging unit. The second is for commercial applications; for example, small businesses wishing to provide charging services for its customers.
McKenzie explained that Evergo's move to home charging is based on the Jamaica Public Service's recent implementation of different pricing for off peak charging. He expects an increase in home charger usage as the delta between what one would spend on fuel and the increase in the home electricity bill would be significant enough to make EV ownership a cheaper alternative.
"If you charge at home, especially with our chargers, it will charge an EV to full within eight hours; so while you're sleeping you're charging. JPS has now announced new charging rates in the off peak. So we're encouraging those who buy an electric vehicle, they should also invest in one of our home chargers as well. Your electricity use will go up, but the difference between what you pay for gas and what you're paying for electricity you'll have savings at the end of the day," said McKenzie.
The third unit is an updated 50 kWh Level 3 charger that features a large screen, allowing for advertising and, more importantly for Evergo, the ability to scale charging speeds.
"Ten years ago you couldn't charge more than 20 kilowatts. Now we're up to 50 kilowatts. The new cars can take up to 180 kilowatts. So with this unit we can add banks to scale them up. The other advantage they bring is that we normally promote charging in places where you have multiple businesses. It has a LCD screen that they can use as an advertising board as well. So, yes, it will be our preferred charging unit going forward," said McKenzie.
He expects the increase in attendance and attention seen this year to continue at next year's staging, even as he recognised the efforts of the Government to grow the eMobility sector.
"The Jamaican Government has done a lot. When we came in, EVs paid 35 per cent duty, then they announced that 1,000 vehicles would be at 10 per cent, now it's all electric vehicles at 10 per cent. So they done that on the duty side. They're putting in policies that deal with the installation of the infrastructure, and the standards. So the Government has done a lot, there's still a way to go, but we'll get there."