It turns out it is easier place to make offshore investments in the Cayman Islands than it is to buy or sell electric vehicles there. Getting electric vehicles to the Cayman Islands has been a real challenge for John Felder, president of Cayman Automotive, a dealership that has made it a mission to sell EVs like the Wheego LiFe, Think City, and Amp plug-in conversions.
Felder was thrilled to see the first Caribbean International Electric Show launch on August 30 at the Cayman Motor Museum in West Bay on Grand Cayman. Just in time, too, since regulators were just then approving EVs to be registered in the Cayman Islands.
Felder had been pushing for seven years (!) for Cayman to go electric. In June of this year, Felder attempted to register an EV at the Department of Vehicles and Licensing, but was unable to do so because the department had safety concerns. According to Deputy Premier Julia O'Connor-Connolly, "the registration and licensing of vehicles was an intricate process and required extensive research on many issues."
Amp Electric Vehicles has had a similar bureaucratic problem. A bill allowing EVs on the islands was signed by the governor last November, but it has taken a while for the regulatory structure to be put in place. In March, Amp signed a memorandum of understanding with U-Go Stations Cayman to bring its converted all-electric Mercedes-Benz ML to the Caribbean Islands, but found out that the law hadn't been clearly implemented yet.
Last year, Feldman received government approval for a Chevy Volt, and the ministry issued a statement that the new law's regulations "will be brought into effect very shortly." It did take a while, but it looks like Cayman Island residents will finally be able to drive off the dealer lot and get their electric cars legally registered.