When you're driving an electric vehicle on a small, tropical island, the question "What range anxiety?" comes to mind. When you're driving an EV in a place with roughly $8-a-gallon gas, then you can also ask, "No, really, why would I be driving anything else?"

People in the Cayman Islands will soon be able to rent a small EV, the Wheego, from the local Budget rental agency at a cost of between 70 and 80 Cayman Island dollars (about $85-$98 US) a day. John Felder, the president and CEO of Cayman Automotive Leasing and Sales (pictured, left), told AutoblogGreen that Wheego offered special incentives to close the sale and that Budget offices in nearby islands are now also interested in offering zero-emission driving to tourists. The Budget in St. Thomas just bought six Wheegos, for example. You can watch a video report from Cayman 27 here.

Felder is an EV pioneer on the Cayman Islands - it hasn't always been easy - and says he has sold around two dozen since a law was passed in 2011 to allow purely electric vehicles to drive on public roads. The shopping list looks like our headlines from about five years ago. Felder says the prices for his EVs range from $17,500 ($21,000 US) for a GEM to $35,000 ($42,700 US) for a Wheego and or a Think City, before incentives. That might seem high for older cars when we've got brand new EVs here in the US - where even the Wheego starts at $32,995 - but Felder said the per-mile running cost for the EVs is roughly half what it would be with gas, so there's a good incentive in the islands.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      imoore
      • 1 Day Ago
      I've always been a fan of the original '70's Citicar and the Think City. And I was kind of on the fence for the Coda until it pulled an Brilliance BS6 in the crash tests. If given the right push, they could have and still can make a positive impact in the market. For the record, I do like the Tesla Model S, but I'm not too pleased with the perceived image that an electric car must be luxury-priced to be successful (Nissan Leaf excluded).
      electric-car-insider
      Maybe the people who are driving ICEs on these once-pristine islands are the crazy ones. Prices for everything in the Caribbean are higher. Prices in the Cayman Islands are the highest of all the Caribbean islands. It's the cost of living in paradise. It's expensive there.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @electric-car-insider
        That is why I gave Cayman Island hire car prices for comparison.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Day Ago
      You can hire a Suzuki Swift for US $28/dy, low season: http://www.aviscayman.com/ratedetails.php?id=28 If the prices given in the article are correct, then Wheego and Budget are clearly tapping into the insane demographic.
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Day Ago
      16 years ago, when I first became involved in the EV business, I thought that my best market for specialised EV vehicles would be island resorts. To a certain extent I was correct. The hire of electric motor cycles/scooters for the tourist market, proved very successful, as did small EV mini-Jeeps, and even converted madza MX-5 sports cars. I even sold a number of EV mini-buses. But I also learned the limitations of trying to widen the market on small Island nations. Apart from the obvious negative reaction from local businesses dependant on the supply of fuel and services for fossil fuel machinery, the average per capita income of island citizens is very low. Gasoline-diesel may be expensive, but nowhere near as expensive as the cost of an EV ! EV's can also become a threat to the islands economic viability. To run generators, trucks, heavy equipment, boats etc, the Island must import fuel by the ship load. The logistics of decreased fuel usage, may increase the cost of fuel disproportionately. It's more complex than it looks.
        EVnerdGene
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Marco Polo
        OBTW: Electric power on most islands are generated by gas or diesel-powered generators. And they typically pay quite a premium for the imported fuels, and change quite a premium for the electric power they (sometimes intermittently) distribute. Factor in hurricanes (typhoons), and salt air, and the economies as you mentioned; most islands are a tough place to do business. Wheego starting at $32995 in the US? holy krap
        Ryan
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Marco Polo
        And I don't have a problem if the price of gasoline has to go up to teach the ignorant masses that they are being screwed over because they are addicted to dirty oil.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Ryan
          @ Ryan, I'm not quite sure what your comment means ? Most small island nations can barely afford the price of energy as it is, an increase in the price would drive them into deeper poverty, "ignorance" , corruption and political instability. How does making the cost of energy unaffordable help ? How do you expect them to operate hospitals, clean water, infrastructure, refrigeration, etc ?
      DaveMart
      • 1 Day Ago
      Nearly $100 a day to hire a car? That is absurd. At that price it doesn't matter how expensive petrol is, as the price of that is comparatively trivial. As the article points out, you can't go far on an island anyway.
        Ryan
        • 1 Day Ago
        @DaveMart
        And so is a $1 million dollar house in California that would cost $200k in Ohio. There are certain places in the world that can charge high prices and get away with it. Then again, with unsubsidized gasoline prices, we should be paying $8-$9/gallon too. I would rent one if I went there.