A local businessman said despite government’s recent announcement to waive the import duty and environment levy on all environmentally-friendly vehicles, financial institutions need to be convinced to come onboard.
The sole electric car importer Paul Bennett, who has been lobbying for the waiver for several months, said while government and residents are supportive of the development, banks and other lenders are “afraid to provide the money for residents to invest in these vehicles”.
“The only problem I am having is the institutions are simply terrified of the new technology. I have spoken to absolutely every single one and they are just terrified,” he said.
He said his mission thereafter will be to help banks and other lending agencies to understand the technology behind the hybrid and electric vehicles.
“It will ultimately be better for the environment; we have a good product, it is reliable and it will be less stress for them,” he explained.
Bennett said he has imported over eight electric vehicles and more are on the way.
Meantime, Chief Environment Officer Ambassador Diann Black-Layne said the infrastructure and the enabling environment to utilise these environmentally-friendly vehicles needs to be developed.
“You buy a vehicle, you need to make sure it can be maintained, the parts are here, the mechanics know how to deal with them and the software and so on,” she said.
She added the step to waive the fees, however, should prompt individuals to acquire training in these areas.
The ambassador suggests a good step would be the Antigua State College implementing programmes targeting training students in this field.
Source: Antigua Observer Newspaper