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Island to pave way for more electric cars

  • Perfect fit: Gary Weller with his electric car (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)

The Government is to look at how to prepare the island for increased use of electric vehicles.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport and Regulatory Affairs said: “The Government is interested in promoting and encouraging all forms of renewable energy solutions.

“The use of electric vehicles is one way of reducing Bermuda’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“While there are already electric vehicles on Bermuda roads, the Government’s full policy on this subject matter cannot predate the coming Green Paper on Transport or the details of the energy policy, which are all on the cards for the near future.”

Gary Weller, an electric car owner, said the island needed to prepare itself for a surge in the use of electric cars.

He explained: “The infrastructure for electric vehicles isn’t there at this moment, and I think planning needs to be done.”

Mr Weller said that electric cars were a perfect fit for Bermuda.

He added: “They are so ideal for Bermuda because of our type of driving.

“There are no highways where people are going high speed, the batteries are more than ample for the average driver and the stop-and-start driving is ideal.

“They have regenerative braking, which means whenever you slow down and put on the brakes, it is sending a charge to the battery, so you are getting more life out of the battery.”

Mr Weller said that as electric vehicles became more common, charging stations needed to be considered.

He added: “I know of three charging stations at Albouys Point, but they never seem to be working. Perhaps they’re not turned on.

“There are four at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, and right now it’s free, but the spaces are normally occupied by petrol cars.”

Mr Weller said the Government also had to examine electric cars’ impact on revenue from fuel tax.

He added that power firm Belco should also think about the potential effect on energy demand as most drivers of electric vehicles charge them overnight.

The government spokesman said the ministry would need to talk to a range of people the introduction of policies on charging stations.

He added: “For example, parking in the City of Hamilton is a Corporation of Hamilton matter.

“With the size of Bermuda and the short distances of daily commutes, a large number of charging stations may not be necessary.”

The spokesman also said the Government was looking at the use of electric vehicles in its own fleet.

He added “There is an interest, as we replace vehicles as needed, in considering EV options.

“Any decision to move to electric vehicles would have to be fully thought out according to needs of the Government and the existing fleet.”