Hew: No plan to ban petrol cars

| 24/11/2020 | 106 Comments

(CNS): The minister responsible for energy and infrastructure has said the current administration has no plans or even a long-term target date for when Cayman might ban the importation of petrol powered vehicles. Joey Hew said it was “too early to go down that road”, depending instead on duty cuts to persuade people to switch, despite the ambitious National Energy Policy and the stated aims of his government to cut emissions.

At last week’s virtual Caribbean Transitional Energy Conference (CTEC), Hew was asked by organiser James Whittaker when Cayman would follow the UK’s ban on importing new petrol powered cars, but the minister gave no indication of when restrictions might be implemented, if ever.

He spoke instead about reducing the age of petrol cars that could be imported and using incentives to attract investment in the infrastructure needed for a move to electric vehicles. The minister said he hoped the duty cuts that government has implemented on electric cars and its plan to switch 10% of its fleet to electric vehicles over the next five years would act as that incentive.

But Hew admitted that at present the sector is not confident that government is serious about supporting a broader switch and remains reluctant to invest.

When Governor Martyn Roper delivered the introductory message for the conference, he said the world was at the climate change tipping point, putting island nations like Cayman at serious risk of sea level rise. But despite the sense of urgency conveyed by the governor, the minister said it was “too early” to set a date for a petrol vehicle ban, even though transportation has been identified as Cayman’s second biggest climate change problem.

Hew spoke broadly about government’s plans regarding a greener economy. He referred to the LED street light replacement project and a solar array at the government building that would supply around just 8% of the building’s energy needs. Hew said government was also about to undertake a tender process for a zero emissions shuttle bus service for George Town and had started a public campaign to cut home energy use.

But there was no mention of addressing critical issues, such as radically increasing coastal set backs to tackle the major problem of coastal development. There was no indication either that the government would be stepping back from is significant dependency on continued development as a major economic driver.

The minister continued to articulate what has been a persistently mixed message from this administration about the environment. Hew warned that going greener had to be balanced against a need for cost savings, which would mean government wouldn’t always be taking the most environmental friendly option.

But talking about how the Cayman Islands might become a leader in the region when it comes to a greener economy and sustainability, Hew claimed he was advocating for radical solutions to the problems of climate change.

He said that he has called for local beaches to close for one week every year. “Give the ocean and the beaches a week to recuperate,” he said, adding that this proposal was based on what he saw during lockdown. “What a story that would be, to close the beaches one week out of the year,” the minister said. “That’s how broad my thinking is.”

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Category: Business, Climate Change, Science & Nature, Transport

Comments (106)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “That’s how broad my thinking is.” Incredible. More like how narrow it is.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Love it. Hew no plan for …………… anything.

  3. Anonymous says:

    All government runabout vehicles should be electric and the government building should be covered in solar panels.
    People should have to start paying for parking too and money from that can be used to help install green tech.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Jokey gah jokes doh.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just stop importing them big 8 cylinders vehicles and vehicles older than 1o years, that will help a lot. And should be easy to do. I guess OFREG and Lodge members will not agree with that.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Could be worse. Imparato wanted to build a tanker terminal next to Shetty Hospital.

  7. Anonymous says:

    They could just increase the tax on those massive pickups and Tahoes, Escalades people drive to their office job. Just to look like they made it to their nieghbours.
    Switch out the government ministers Tahoe fleet for Prius’s
    Lets take those unneeded gas guzzlers off the roads.

    And swap out the cloud producing buses for electric.

  8. Anonymous says:


  9. Anonymous says:

    Joey Hew? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This headline is four words too long

  11. Anonymous says:

    What a hewmongous jackass.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone told the ocean it only has a week to recuperate?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Typical spineless politician

  14. Anonymous says:

    “What a story that would be, to close the beaches one week out of the year,” the minister said. “That’s how broad my thinking is.”

    the crested tit speaketh, but speaketh of air pollution along SMB at times worse than of London he doth not. Here’s another ‘broad thinking’ idea Joey, – at the same time as the beach closure let’s keep all civil service car drivers and Dart employeees (simply due to proportion) off the road as well; ‘Cayman’s industry discrimination bettering the environment’ – what a story that would be Joey, think it through next time, think it through.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Very few Caymanians go to the beach to swim. They won’t miss it. Hotels are now closing for good along with restaurants, stores, tours, boating. etc. So you all have effectively already closed the beaches for at least the next year if not more along with the economy. That’s how broad your thinking is.

  16. Anonymous says:

    joey hew?…the guy who banned uber/lyft and all ride-sharing in cayman…… just so he could protect the taxi rip-off cartel.
    tells you everything you need to know.

  17. Anonymous says:

    no-plan-joey….perfect minister for no-plan-ppm

  18. Anonymous says:

    The beaches do close for over a week every year with storms, winds, waves, etc. This man is tired, vote him out before he says something even worse

  19. Anonymous says:

    Yawn. Fix the damn dump Joey.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The governments have allowed unchecked development and destruction of natural resources.
    They have authorized chemicals to be used in copious quantities that are known to be toxic.
    They allow materials to be used that are not biodegradable.
    They have no idea of proper recycling.

    Now who has the answer for us. Yep, the bloody government.

    • Jotnar says:

      And the answer is a token gesture that costs them nothing, doesn’t offend their developer friends and business interests, and speaks to their new found recreation of imposing restrictions on the public. Best they’ll be announcing $10000 fines if anyone, other than an MLAs family, breaches the one week beach curfew.

  21. Anonymous says:

    3.09pm Enough with the disrespect to our Caymanian politicians. Just because you can’t get expats in the House doesn’t give you the right to disrespect the locals in there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like Jamaica Joey you mean?

    • Anonymous says:

      No that’s true. But respect doesn’t come automatically with a title. It has to be earned by demonstrated ability and commitment. Pretty hard to respect someone who comes out with nonsense. You are left either thinking they are a fool, or they think you are.

    • Anonymous says:

      2.22am And the jokes get better!

    • Anonymous says:

      If your Caymanian you can run for office. If you think that you have to be born here, it’s a lie. It’s against the ideals of democracy not to allow a citizen to run for office. I know that will make people upset, but it’s true. I hope born Caymanians can do the job, because that makes things easier, but anyone who holds a citizenship is able to run.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I think we also need to consider the fact that batteries do not last forever and will need to be replaced what are the plans for proper disposal and are their environmental costs from having to manufacture replacement batteries.

    Moreover, something that seems to be lost on many of those advocating for the move to electric vehicles is the fact that there is limited service expertise on island, we will have to train mechanics for this transition, it may be the reason electric cars are not widespread in the Cayman Islands, despite duty reductions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you’re on the right track. Keep thinking and you’ll soon be in the realm of innovation and revolution.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thinking like that would have stopped the first petrol cars coming in. Anywhere. Not seeing anything that says electric isn’t the way to go.

      • Clumsy says:

        I dunno but Toyota aren’t committing to fully electric long term. (I have a Prius hybrid.) Toyota says hydrogen is the way to go.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have to get the trained period. There is very little training available for trades in Cayman. Micheal Myles is trying, but has very little help from the government. It will be hard to get this properly off the ground.

  23. Anonymous says:

    There are so little cars here in comoarison with the world that a ban on them will make little difference. As for electric cars its only green if they are being charged by renewable energy and not by cuc burning fossil fuels. And a beach ban for a week will do nothing….

    • Truth shall set us free says:

      Oh ye of little understanding. Don’t you see what this sick displays broad thinking really means?. Well let me hip you to what prevails here : stop importation of gas guzzling vehicles and you throw a spa ner in the ever growing bank accounts of the importers and you fatten the pocket books of a new set of entrepreneurs, who won’t pay abeyance and political largesse to fund silly ass campaigns of people who tell you one thing and do another or do nothing at all lwhile in power. In other words they ain’t gonna bite the hand of the merchant class. As to the fuel diesel I.e. well you know the big shareholders of the ever getting richer sole provider would not cater to that.

      So in a nutshell with the broad thinking we have we will be perpetually screwed. And that’s a fact jack! Roots.

      • Anonymous says:

        Stop importing big 8 cylinders vehicles period. They burn too much fuel and are NOT needed in these islands. And also stop Importing vehicles older than 10 years old. Government should put these suggestions
        in law pronto .

      • Anonymous says:

        4:56 am, since u say CUC share holders are getting rich. If that is true. Then you should have enough sense to buy their shares. But I guess you don’t .

  24. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Jon Jon can sell us each a donkey?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Just have a non corrupt inspection system.
    Proper emissions test will take 50% of cars and 100% of lorries off the road.

  26. Braydon says:

    I think petrol and diesel and and their hybrid counterparts and hydrogen fuel cell and biofuel combustion engines, and the alternative combustion engines will outsell electrics. They are the cause more environmental damage to make and to use electrics are pathetic waste of energy and money to innovation and production of charging spaces and lack of range I think the electric revolution is bullshit! It’s pathetic

  27. Anonymous says:

    I think petrol and diesel and and their hybrid counterparts and hydrogen fuel cell and biofuel combustion engines, and the alternative combustion engines will outsell electrics. They are the cause more environmental damage to make and to use electrics are pathetic waste of energy and money to innovation and production of charging spaces and lack of range I think the electric revolution is bullshit! It’s pathetic

  28. Anonymous says:

    CNS, please, please, please install a ‘LOL’ button. That last paragraph is an absolute belter! ‘That’s how broad my thinking is’. Today’s comedians would kill to write a line like that! Comedy gold.

    • Anonymous says:

      6.55pm LMAO too! Absolute classic blends with four years of classics elsewhere. Comedy shows out of business.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Hew’ve got to be kidding.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Long live Petrol!

  31. Anonymous says:

    New gasoline powered cars are more environmentally friendly than Electric cars:
    Link: https://get-green-now.com/environmental-impact-electric-vehicle-batteries/

    • Hubert says:

      It’s the damn diesel cars and trucks that should be banned.

      • Anonymous says:

        What do you think makes the electricity that powers the electric cars here…

        • Anonymous says:

          exactly the point I was goin to make haha, what do you think they will get power from to charge their electric vehicles =Diesel engines=

          • Share the Wealth says:

            Electric vehicles are less efficient than petrol only vehicles. CUC is the power generator on the island and uses fuel to create the electricity that powers the battery that powers the car so even though you think that you are being green and sometimes virtuous by driving an electric vehicle you really are not.

            In fact, some of that electricity generated by fossil fuel at CUC is lost in transmission to the source of the battery regeneration and a battery does not hold a charge forever so it also loses power.

            Unless and/or until an electric vehicle uses sunlight, hydrogen, ocean waves, etc. it will not be as clean and efficient as a regular vehicle.

        • Anonymous says:

          6:36, That is why we need LNG and a LNG terminal to replace diesel fuel at CUC.

    • Anonymous says:

      The actual article you link to actualyl says the opposite, i.e., electric cars are better environmentally than gas ones. Did you even read the article?

      “when you look at the bigger picture, EVs are “greener” overall than gasoline cars when comparing their entire life cycles (including battery production & disposal). So electric car batteries actually reduce our overall environmental impact.”

      “even with increased manufacturing emissions, the average EV is still better for the environment than a comparable gas car when you consider their lifetime CO2 eqiuvalent emissions in the United States (this includes the disposal/recycling phases).”

      “even when taking into account the extra environmental damage from electric car batteries, the average electric car in the United States produces about half the total emissions of a comparable gasoline car”

  32. Proverbs 17:28 says:

    “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”

  33. Anonymous says:

    When is Joey going to build and label the bike lanes? If never, can he personally refund the money that was budgeted to the NRA for that, or give it to the cycling community to buy paint and do their own stenciling?

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Exactly right. If there were safe lanes to ride on, I think we’d see many more people out of their cars and on bikes. I would be one of them, but not as it is, riding among the road warriors.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well they did paint those logos in the middle of the car lane on North Church Street – can’t expect him to do something that would actually make a difference and offend car users now can you.

  34. Say it like it is says:

    The vehicles that cause by far the most pollution are diesel, how many times must have to follow them belching out clouds of black filth of which the driver is oblivious, like the one illustrated above.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The “ICE AGE” is over! ICE internal combustion engines are going to be made obsolete before you know it. EV evolution and revolution will make cars cheaper with less maintenance and cost. The powers that be are stuck in the ancient system of exploitation of all resources to fill their own pockets despite evidence that their parasitic behaviour is killing the poor and the planet. They will do all in their power to delay the inevitable. Wake up!

    • Anonymous says:

      And our electricity comes from… diesel generators. Doh!

    • Anonymous says:

      EV batteries still require expensive and dirty lithium, cobalt, and other finite rare earth resources. With close to 20 Billion people wanting to move around in the next 30 years, humanity’s future mobility is likely to be fueled with cheaper ammonia/hydrogen powered vehicles/ships. That is, if reasonable, scientific voices can one day get the ear of decision makers above the din of the EV lobbyists.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be worth switching to electric just to force those couple of idiots off the road in their crappy 3 series BMW that they’ve modified so the exhaust pops and bangs all the time. Apart from being illegal and tacky, it in no way fools anyone that they may be driving M3s. Fools.

  36. Anonymous says:

    The fact that Joey Hew is a Minister of the Cayman Islands Government is totally laughable.
    What an absolute joke.
    What’s next? Kenneth Bryan for Pope?

    • Anonymous says:

      Joey Who?

    • Anonymous says:

      3.09pm Enough with the disrespect to our Caymanian politicians. Just because you can’t get expats in the House doesn’t give you the right to disrespect the locals in there.

      • Anonymous says:

        No. Their behaviour does.

      • Anonymous says:

        What gives you the right to deny anyone the freedom of speech and opinion? Whether you agree or not with his/her opinion, if the person wants to call politicians a joke – or worse, within the standards of the law and this website – he or she can.

      • Anonymous says:

        3.09pm Thanks for the joke!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Close the beaches and seas for a month

  38. Anonymous says:

    Joey Hew is being realistic. How many of us are ready to give up the gas engines for electric ? James can quite Boris Johnson all he wants but until the public will is there, it would be very silly for the Minister to force it on people. I know here will be lots of dislikes and attacks for saying this but it’s the truth. The public will be in an uproar if the minister made that move.

  39. Anonymous says:

    ““Give the ocean and the beaches a week to recuperate,”

    Give me a break! The hell is 60,000 people not bathing in the sea for a week going to do?

    How about give the atmosphere a break and ban all gas cars for one week! That would have a real environmental impact and also train people to rely less on gas guzzling vehicles!

  40. Anonymous says:

    My motorcycle takes $4 to fill up and gets me 100 miles per gallon.

    My car takes $35 to fill up and gets me 25 miles per gallon.

    I pay the same amount to license my motorcycle as my car. If I’m going to forego a metal cage to reduce my fuel consumption and not contribute to traffic I should get some incentive to.

  41. Trev says:

    It seems unambitious, however there is not a lot of point switching to electric cars while the vast majority of electricity on the islands is produced by burning diesel.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s still more efficient to charge the battery of an electric vehicle using a diesel powered energy source than to fill up the fuel tank of a car/truck etc.

      This island is almost perfect for an electric car. Most people drive way below even the modest range of these early generation vehicles. The latest ones almost match gasoline for range.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not true. CUC generates 12.15kWH per US gallon of diesel. A small electric car like a Leaf does 3.5 miles/kWh. So assuming no electrical transmission loss and no charging losses, your Leaf does 42mp(US)g realistically more like 35. A similarly sized diesel car does 50mpg+

        • Anonymous says:

          Grid loss is typically 10%, EV charge efficiency is about 87% so your Leaf is really doing 33mpg!

        • Anonymous says:

          Where did the 12.15 kWh per US gallon come from? CUC’s reported net fuel efficiency is 18.88 kWh/Imp. Gal which is 15.7 kWh/US gal. CUC’s grid losses. Also from CUC’s 2019 annual report energy sales were 96.3% of energy supplied to the grid. In other words grid losses were 3.7%. Using these numbers would give approximately 53 miles per gallon equivalent for the EV not including charging losses. On price currently CUC rates 22 cent/ kWh which is 6.8 cent per mile. A petrol car that gives 53 mpg with fuel at $4.00/gal would pay 7.5 cents/mile.

          • Anonymous says:

            kWh/gal was from here; https://www.reallife.ky/editorial/brian-roffey

            Accept the annual report more recent and reliable. Also the 10% grid loss was based on usual losses; Cayman’s customers are far closer to the generators so 3.7% makes sense. Charge efficiency is between 85 and 90% across the board so I modify your number by .87 to give 46mpg…

            Hardly a convincing environmental argument for switching to EV’s! That said we’re getting to the point that some EV’s are simply better vehicles than many ICE car’s… a move to EV’s is coming regardless.

      • Anonymous says:

        The range is a non issue here, or most places for that matter but the fact that the electricity is dirty makes them completely pointless from an environmental perspective. Some EV’s are great cars irrespective though and dirt cheap to run.

    • Anonymous says:

      As bad as CUC smoke looks its still more efficient than all of the exhausts of all of the cars stuck in traffic. If we switched to electric vehicles and did not change CUC we would still reduce our emissions and improve our air quality.

      But this is an even sillier argument when you note that the plan from Minister Hew’s Ministry is to switch to renewable energy generation, for you to charge your electric car with. Win-Win. 😉

  42. Anonymous says:

    They could never fix the dump so everything else is over their heads. Expect less. Be happy.

  43. Anonymous says:

    What dumb ass solution is that. Shut the beach for a week.

    • Anonymous says:

      Joey is a clown. Time to replace all the jokers in 2021

    • Anonymous says:

      It would also bring about the potential loss of Caymanian’s prescriptive rights. The suggestion is far more dangerous than the mere idiocy it seems.

  44. Jotnar says:

    Close the beaches for a week a year? Right. Gong to have huge impact compared with allowing developers to b ignore set backs, bulldoze mangroves and violate planning restrictions and then pay a measly $1000 fine. Or allowing CUC to continue producing the vast majority of their electricity using diesel, and cut the legs out from under the CORE program. THATS how broad his thinking is.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Close the beach for a week? He should be making people go the beach to see for themselves the harm over construction and global warming is having. I wonder how eco friendly his car is.

    • Anonymous says:

      God we can complain. Try so be thankful you live in the Cayman Islands and give the government a break. They got us through Covid and are saving the economy. Be grateful for once. If you are still not happy come May go abs vote for someone else but for God sake stop complaining about every little thing. Omg man unnneh makes me feel ashamed to be one of us sometimes.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Many Caymanians can’t afford to be on the cutting edge of this issue.

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