No duty on some electric cars and bikes

| 30/07/2019 | 44 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): Government has announced that it has cut the import duty on some electric vehicles and bicycles down to zero, while the tariff on hybrid vehicles will also be reduced. The commerce ministry said the goal was to encourage people to buy environmentally friendly cars. Minister Joey Hew, who has responsibility for roads, revealed the news in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, when he explained that there will be no duty at all on electric cars costing $29,999 or less.

As government tries to tackle the increasing traffic woes, congestion and pollution on Cayman’s roads, the aim is to get people to go greener when driving. The zero tariff applies only to personal use vehicles. The tariff for hybrid cars valued at $29,999 or less has been cut to 10%.

Business owners will also get a break, as the tariff for commercial vehicles will be cut to 5% on commercial electric vehicles and 12% on hybrids. There will also be no customs duties for push bikes, electric motorcycles and electric bicycles.

There are currently just 160 electric vehicles licensed to drive on locals roads but the ministry hopes this cut in duty will lead to a greater number of fuel efficient, electric and hybrid vehicles being imported instead of traditional ones. Hew said preventative action had to be taken to cut the amount of fossil fuels being burned on the roads.

“The Ministry of CPI recognises that the transportation sector has vast potential for energy efficiency and energy conservation,” Hew said during his announcement in the Legislative Assembly. “We see this initiative as a kick start to assist our citizens with switching to low emissions vehicles for the wider social and environment benefits to be gained from reducing greenhouse gases and petroleum dependence,” he said, adding that switching to green cars will not only be positive for the environment but cheaper too.

In a press release about the duty cuts, the commerce ministry said it would be working closely in future with the the finance ministry and customs to conduct biennial reviews of the tariff structure. Based on feedback from the private sector, businesses have been waiting to see what action the government would take regarding the transition towards green energy. 

It is hoped that the reduction in tariffs, along with the expansion of Grand Cayman’s electric vehicle charging station infrastructure, will strengthen the public’s confidence in the future of electric vehicles on the island.

Hew also told the LA that government was also looking at what they could do to encourage people to import greener appliances and building materials too.

This announcement forms part of broader energy efficiency initiatives underway as part of the National Energy Policy. The government is also planning to transition its own fleet to more fuel efficient or electric options, where practical, in the future.

See the minster’s speech in the LA on CIGTV below starting 25:30


Did you know importing an electric vehicle, which costs $29,999 or below, now attracts zero tariffs for consumers…

Posted by Ministry of Commerce, Planning & Infrastructure on Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags:

Category: Policy, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (44)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Errol says:

    I have Solar panels on my home and average @ $80.00 per month in EXCESS electrical generation that CUC pays me for (quarterly). For me also having an electric car does not add to the electricity generated by CUC. I have no electric bill and no gas cost for driving!

    With a little fore-site and a little planning it can be done. Now that is a true win-win situation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Hew, how about a removal or reasonable duty reduction on vehicles used for public transportation? Meanwhile, work on reworking the public bus “system” and especially the senior management of the Public Transport Unit!

  3. Graham Morse says:

    This is a welcome move, but it falls short of the National Energy Policy (NEP) approved by cabinet in February 2017 ( item 3.3.7.4) to “To reduce the duty on EV’s and hybrids to 0% and 10% respectively for 5 years.” The NEP also requires that 70% of Cayman’s electricity should be from renewables by 2037. As EV’s come on stream they will increasingly be charged from renewable sources.
    30% of imported fossil fuel in Cayman is used in vehicles, and gas and diesel cars are major polluters of the air we breath. The government needs to do more. What about public buses, taxis, school buses and trucks? Cayman has to play its part, along with the rest of the world to avoid the worst of the catastrophic affects of climate change.

  4. Anonymous says:

    what about if I have to sell motocycles that I already paid duty on…du I get cash back from government?

    1
    4
    • Anonymous says:

      That’s like saying “I started this job when the minimum wage was $3, now its $6… you owe me back pay”.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Electric bicycles are illegal for use on public roads. You’d think Joey might be aware.

    4
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      There are many electrical assistance bikes. You have to pedal but it’s connected to an electric motor to give you help. Especially great for those with knee problems who want to go a reasonable speed.

      2
      1
    • Anonymous says:

      not really…grey area under the law.
      btw…try and find something important to complain about.

  6. Anonymous says:

    one small step for man…one giant leap for caymankind.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Once again Minister Hew’s solutions to the current traffic woes from the east baffles me. So an electric vehicle will ease the traffic congestion and also help reduce the amount of emissions that would occur from traditional cars. Last time I checked the main core of fuel CUC uses is diesel. So with more electric cars, wouldn’t CUC burn more diesel in their generators to provide electricity for the more electric cars? Just to put it out there, the average Caymanian is struggling each month to make ends meet and I’m not talking about the ones who lives beyond their means, I’m talking about the single moms (genuine single moms) who has to go to bed hungry just to ensure their kids have a roof over the heads and clothes on their back. What would really makes sense is to provide some relief at CUC by lowering the duties on solar panels or provide some incentives for owning solar. This way you would have Caymanians being able to live a bit more comfortable in the most expensive territory and also would drastically reduce the emissions CUC is currently producing. This would be a win win situation for the island and on the envorinment on a whole.

    24
    6
    • Anonymous says:

      You do know who his brudda is, right?

      15
    • Anonymous says:

      ?…’the average caymanian is struggling’…..whats your proof of this?
      ‘genuine single moms’…what is that?….

      5
      9
    • Anonymous says:

      Solar panels have the full duty rebated currently.
      Smaller vehicle engines are (for the vast majority) less heat efficient than the large scale diesel engines used by CUC to produce power (read – more wasted energy output and therefore higher emissions net). Electric cars are cheaper to fuel via electricity than by current gasoline or diesel costs as well. Ultimately, electrification of vehicles would reduce GHG emissions currently, and more so as additional renewable energy sources are in place to produce electricity. This is actually a really positive move by the government – though point taken it does nothing to improve traffic conditions.

      17
      5
      • Anonymous says:

        I welcome EV’s generally but in Cayman they are environmentally a waste of time. Large diesel generators might be marginally more thermally efficient than vehicle engines but by the time that is converted into a charged battery lugging a heavier car around there’s little if any difference in fuel use per mile. Secondly I’d be really surprised if CUC emissions are cleaner than Euro6/carb ICE vehicles.

    • Anonymous says:

      The average Caymanian is a single “mom”? Wow. Who knew?

      6
      2
    • Anonymous says:

      What are YOU doing to assist the traffic issue? Do you car pool?

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no duty on solar panels already.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The government should remove the duty on deep cycle batteries so that people can go green and reduce their reliance on CUC.

    29
  9. Anonymous says:

    Who can fix these cars in Cayman this has been a constant issue with owning an electric car here

    30
    2
  10. Anonymous says:

    These electric vehicles mostly plug into CUCs diesel grid, allowing CUC to sell to both the building and now vehicle market where there is a Hew sitting on the Board.

    37
    2
  11. Anonymous says:

    I struggle to see how an electric vehicle helps with either congestion or pollution.

    29
    7
    • Anonymous says:

      it definitely helps with pollution….go read a book.

      16
      7
      • Anonymous says:

        Where do we get our electricity from? Go read a book yourself.

        14
        7
      • Anonymous says:

        Sure I read CUC annual report, ok it’s not quite a book but they claim their LED project saved 3.78GWh equivalent to 195,000 gallons of diesel (imp) which implies they use 0.052 gallons to generate 1kWh or 1 gallon generates 19kWh. A Tesla does 2 miles per kWh. In other words in Cayman it pollutes the same as a 38mpg diesel car (assuming charging is 100% efficient, which it isn’t). Now which book was it you wanted me to read?

        4
        1
        • Anonymous says:

          Though likely somewhat overstated, most claims about Tesla list 3.5-4.5 miles per kWh, so that would be a 66-88 mpg car. Somewhat more impressive than a 38 mpg diesel (all gallons imperial in this case).

          • Anonymous says:

            Ill give you the Model 3 is more efficient, real world model x closer to 2 m/kwh. Tesla figures ‘optimistic’

        • Anonymous says:

          i love it when caymanians try and reinvent the wheel….

  12. J|) says:

    Electric cars are good for the environment but similar to what one UN representative said: Cayman generates probably 0.000001% of fossil fuel emissions.

    Electric cars don’t help traffic.

    People coming from Bodden Town to GT to work can’t rely on a bicycle unless they’re ultra fit.

    Motorcycles 125cc and below should be duty free too. 100+ mpg so environmentally conscious and it doesn’t take up a car’s road space or parking.

    27
    5
    • Anonymous says:

      Filthy inefficient two stroke motors are not the answer to traffic pollution. You can just as easily charge an e-bike (with 100% on-demand torque), for the same cost/footprint as running a household ceiling fan.

      3
      3
      • Anonymous says:

        Mine is 4-stroke obviously. You’d never find me with a 2-stroke engine and they aren’t common.. too much maintenance and noise.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I hear there’s no duty on multi-million dollar boats if you’re a rich expat with a gun…hurrah!

    37
    3
  14. Anonymous says:

    But we continue to burn diesel to generate electricity, makes perfect sense in CIG LaLa land……….. you should only get a duty concession if you can demonstrate that you are generating clean energy to power the vehicle

    21
    1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.