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In Cayman, the Future of Electric Cars


GRAND CAYMAN — It began with a small group of cars under a white tent just across from Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman — but it could herald the start of a large movement in the Caribbean.

Last week, Cayman Automotive hosted the first-ever Caribbean International Electric Auto Show, an expo putting cutting-edge electric car designs on display.

The show was the effort of Cayman Automotive, which introduced the first electric car to the Caribbean in 2009 and is now the region’s exclusive electric dealer.

“Now that the [electric car] law has finally been passed, that the regulation is finally done, customers can now drive an electric vehicle in the Cayman Islands,” John Felder, president and CEO of Cayman Automotive, told Caribbean Journal. “So this is truly historic.”

The Caribbean International Electric Auto show featured six different vehicles, from the Wheego LiFe to an in-development electric roadster from Shockwave Motors.

“You’re going to see more and more of these on the road,” said Ken Wambold, regional sales manager for Atlanta, Ga.-based Wheego, a three-year-old company which is also developing a five-passenger electric crossover modeled on the Toyota Venza that he called a “soccer mom’s dream.”

Wheego is planning to increase its worldwide dealer network to about 100 by 2015, he said, along with further expansion in Caribbean islands like Puerto Rico and Jamaica and in the Dominican Republic.

The Wheego LiFe vehicle that was on display at Cayman Automotive has a range of about 100 miles, with a top speed of 65 miles per hour.

It takes seven or eight hours to charge the cars at home. Charging at a station, of which Grand Cayman already has two, involves about the time it takes for a run to the local market.

There are plans for 14 to 15 such stations, with the aim of making them solar-powered.

“These islands are absolutely perfect for electric vehicles,” Wambold said.

For the sporting-inclined, Shockwave is offering its Predator EV3 roadster.



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