As he strives to drive his country into the future of motor vehicles, Jamaican Prime Minisetr, Andrew Holness, is set to replace the current motor cars used by the government, with a fleet of EVs. Disclosed by the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Daryl Vaz in the House of Representatives, this was the government’s bid to get Jamaicans to embrace the use of electric vehicles (EVs).
He (Vaz) said: “In discussion with the prime minister and my Cabinet colleagues, the government is going to have to lead by example and the prime minister has already indicated to me that when his fleet becomes due for changing out, he’s going electric.”
“The Prime Minister,” he went on to say, “has also instructed me to change the fleet of vehicles at his ministry to EVs. In collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the entire government is moving to embrace electric vehicles.
The minister said that with the help of the IDB, a programme is being worked on that will see a number of EVs currently in the country linked to various ministries and assigned to different public servants for up to a week at a time. “This will allow government employees to test and operate the vehicles and to develop familiarity with them,” said Vaz.
Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke advised that people who have already paid licence fees for this year can claim for the excess amount paid up to the effective date.
He said: "The electric vehicle technologies are undergoing rapid change and so the public interest is best served by ensuring that the latest technologies are preferred over older technologies. We need to have the latest electric vehicles at any point in time. But, we want vehicles no older than three years old."
People who switch to electric vehicles are set to benefit from a further 20 per cent reduction in the current import duty rates and will not have to pay motor vehicle licence fees over the next five years.
Meanwhile, persons who purchase electric vehicles will benefit from a further 20 per cent reduction in the current import duty rates and will not have to pay motor vehicle licence fees over the next five years.
This follows Tuesday’s amendments to the Customs Duty Tariff (Revision Amendment) Order 2022; the Road Traffic (License Duties) Order 2022; and the Road Traffic (Licence Duties) resolution, which will bring the changes into effect. The reduction brings the import duties on electric vehicles down to 10 per cent from 30 per cent.
These lower duty rates and the elimination of the licence fee requirement will apply only to vehicles that are three years old or younger at the time of importation and took effect on July 14. Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke advised that people who have already paid licence fees for this year can claim for the excess amount paid up to the effective date.
He explained that the Government is supporting the transition from the country's high dependence on petroleum for motor vehicles by making it more affordable for Jamaicans to buy electric vehicles.