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If you have been planning to buy an electric vehicle or EV as it is called, now may be the right time. The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) is rolling out charging stations for EVs all over the island. JPS is responding to the increase in the number of EVs as more and more electric and hybrid vehicles are being imported into the country. The government seems to be taking its commitment to bring down the greenhouse gas emissions seriously and it has spurred the JPS into action.
A Charging Station Every 30 Kilometres
The first one off the block may be at the AC Hotel by Marriott in New Kingston. JPS has entered into an arrangement with the hotel’s owners who also own a BMW dealership adjacent to the hotel. Under the arrangement, the hotel which is set to be opened soon will allot the space to JPS to set up the EV charging station. The hotel may permit the owners of BMW cars sold by their dealership to use the charging station as well.
Elsewhere, JPS has to scout for partners who can offer the real estate for the charging stations but the precise terms under which these will be operated are not clear yet. Either there will be a fixed rental or just a cut from the charges collected from the car owners or even a combination of both. JPS may come out with the details in due course. Equally unclear is the actual number of fully electric or partially electric or hybrid cars in Jamaica.
Last Quarter the Targeted Date to Start Operations
As it stands, these are the plans JPS may be having on its agenda. The actual setting up of the stations and opening for public use are expected only during the last quarter of this calendar year. As indicated there will be one charging station every 30 kilometres and the entire work may get completed by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
The other aspect the vehicle owners will be keen to know is the kind of charges they will be asked to pay to get their cars charged. The only term used by JPS is that they will be ‘competitive’. The details of these will also be shared only towards the end of 2019.
The government of Jamaica may have to focus on improving the policy framework to be put in place for the importation of the electric vehicles and the import duty structure that will encourage the buyers to go in for these cars in preference to the ones using fossil fuels.