Barbados ready to add more EVs to help island economy

The entire country has about as many electric vehicles as a typical San Francisco co-op, but Barbados has to start somewhere. The Caribbean island nation is home to about 280,000 people and has a most famous export in Rihanna and now it is sounding the horn for more electric vehicles as a way to help the economy, the Barbados Advocate says.

Sen. Darcy Boyce, minister in the office of the Prime Minister, estimates that the nation spends about $250 million a year – about 30 percent of its total fuel imports – strictly on gas that's used for personal vehicles. And while the country will work on cleaner and more efficient power-generation technology, Barbados will also push for more electric vehicle purchases.

What that means at this point is anyone's guess. The country didn't get its first Nissan Leaf until June and currently has only 13 of them. More EVs were thought to be headed towards the Caribbean last year when Ohio-based Amp Electric Vehicles reached a deal to have its converted plug-in Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes-Benz ML vehicles exported to the Caribbean. Amp has since moved out of the SUV-conversion business and into the plug-in utility-van field and those order never materialized.

Barbados is in a good position to make EVs work, since smaller islands have always been considered a perfect place for the zero-emission technology because of relatively high gas prices and short driving distances. For instance, among US states, Hawaii has long been considered on the leading edge when it came to EV adoption and charging-infrastructure deployment.

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