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GOING FOR A SPIN!: Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, taking the electric car for a drive during yesterday's Electric Vehicle Rally. He was accompanied by Managing Director of Light and Power Holdings Ltd., Peter Williams.


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Smart car plan


By Marsha Gittens

Government has a plan to carry out a pilot project with electric vehicles next year.

This was revealed by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce, during an interview with the media at the Electric Vehicle Rally 2013 held yesterday. The Rally started at government headquarters in Bay Street and concluded at Wildey Business Park.

“About 30 per cent, I understand, of our fuel imports goes into the transportation industry. So that is close to about $250 million a year and if we can begin to reduce the use of that fuel it obviously helps the economy and it reduces our need for as much foreign exchange. So we have looked at the power generation, we are working on that and our next hurdle is going to be the transportation industry so that we can be able to make some gains from that.”

He continued, “This event is important in that regard because it is now highlighting the electric vehicle as a way of helping us to reduce that level of foreign exchange use. Government itself will next year also do a pilot project with some electric vehicles in the government fleet, so we can do some tests. There are other private persons who are going to do some tests…[with the] electric vehicles so we can have a body to help us to decide how to go forward with the vehicles.”

Meanwhile, Director at Megapower Limited, Joanna Edghill told The Barbados Advocate that there has been a growing interest on the island in electric vehicles.

“For us, this is a special day in that we brought the first Nissan Leaf to Barbados in June and today there are 13 Nissan Leaves on the island. Four more on the way here and there is a real kind of growing demand and interest for electric vehicles.”

She added that yesterday’s rally, which involved 13 teams, was conducted to raise awareness locally about the vehicles.

“It is an Electric Vehicle Rally but when we say ‘rally’ it is to rally interest and awareness of electric vehicles in Barbados and zero-emission driving. Our company feels that zero-emission driving powered by renewable resources, and in this case solar, is needed in Barbados.”

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