Government is working towards further reducing the duties on imported electric vehicles. This was disclosed on Monday by Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands who gave the assurance that the Barbados National Energy Policy’s goal of achieving 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 was still a reality.
She said the objective was to improve Barbados’ energy security and resilience as well as to curb the country’s dependence on imported fuels.
“As a result, the Ministry continues to deepen its collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders, including other ministries and Government agencies as well as the private sector, to ensure Barbados’ 2030 vision is realised. And as we build out this policy, we will implement measures to address energy consumption and efficiency within the transportation sector, conversion from fossil fuel use to electricity, transportation management, clean energy use and emissions control within the transportation sector.
“This, in turn, will result in a sector that includes but is not limited to the operation of a greater percentage of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles in the local fleet, utilisation of a skilled workforce to provide effective maintenance on electric vehicles, a greater number of renewable energy systems installed that can be used as charging stations for electric vehicles, carports and charging stations and the reduction of duties on the importation of electric vehicles,” Husbands said.
It was in March this year, while delivering the Budget, that Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that purchases of electric or hybrid vehicles would only attract a 10 per cent import duty for the subsequent 24 months.
Husbands spoke about the focus on electric and hybrid vehicles at an event at Courtesy Garage Limited’s Wildey, St Michael headquarters to mark the company’s 100th anniversary which also included an unveiling and burial of time capsules at the location.
She used the opportunity to laud Courtesy Garage for providing quality transportation to Barbadians for 100 years.
Minister Husbands said the automotive business was one of the leaders in electric vehicle sales on the island, having sold 257 as of the end of September.
In fact, she said, Courtesy sold all of its zero-emissions vehicles less than a month after the Government introduced a 24-month VAT holiday on electric vehicles starting April 1, 2022.
Regional General Manager of Courtesy Garage, Nicholas Mackie said the company was now fully energy independent.
He said with its top-selling Nissan Leaf and Hyundai electric vehicles the future was bright.
“I personally believe that we are on a very strong footing for a very bright future. It puts the company on a very good footing for the next 100 years, I think – well, at least the next 50 for sure,” Mackie said.