Jamaica government undertaking electric vehicle trial programme

By Rumi Samuel Published on July 12, 2022
Jamaica government undertaking electric vehicle trial programme

The Jamaica Government's Electric Vehicle (EV) Trial programme, now underway, will assist in converting many state-owned fleets to EVs.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced while emphasising that the Electric Mobility Policy for the public transportation sector has been completed.

He was speaking at a ceremony to launch the programme, held at the Jaguar/Land Rover Showroom on Arthur Wint Drive in St Andrew last Friday.

There, the keys for the Build Your Dreams (BYD) electric vehicles were handed over by Stewart's Automotive Group and EV distributors, Flash Motors Company Limited, for five Government ministries to test drive for six weeks.

They are the Ministries of Transport and Mining; Finance and the Public Service; Science, Energy and Technology and two others yet to be confirmed.

Holness lauded the trial programme as one which will “give policymakers a first-hand understanding of what it means to drive and use an electric vehicle.”

“So, you want the policymakers to have an appreciation and so to have the vehicles in the ministries to be tested... I think that's very useful for implementing the policy,” he stated.

He further pointed out that the programme will assist in the government's data gathering while it builds out an “ecosystem around electric vehicles.”

“It is not intended that consumers on their own decision to bring in an EV and we don't have provisions for charging [or] understand how those vehicles work specific to the Jamaican terrain,” he said.

“The government can accelerate this by being a 'first mover' and the creator of a critical mass of demand. Once our policymakers become advocates for electric vehicles, you will start to see [acceleration] because there is a genuine belief that this is the right direction to go,” he continued.

He further commended the private sector investing in the “electric mobility ecosystem.”

“We are seeing private sector initiative and investments in charging stations, training and the coming together for the repair and maintenance of the vehicles,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Stewart's Automotive Group is the only dealership currently supplying Electric Vehicles in the country.

The company has sold approximately 20 vehicles, with an estimated amount of 100 remaining in stock.

Flash Motors Company Limited is the only EV distributor in the country.

It will continue to partner with the Automotive Group and the Government to expand the industry.


Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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