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Shameful we have so few electric cars

Plug in: the electric MyCar

Dear Sir,

My average number of letters to the editor is about once every decade but I trust, Mr Editor, you will forgive my writing again so soon and about the same subject — import duties — but this time not wine, but electric cars and electric motorcycles.

Your recent correspondent’s (Alex Smith’s) thoughts about import duties on electric vehicles have saddened me greatly and it is truly my hope that he is alone in Bermuda with such negative opinions.

For at least 30 years, the Bermuda Government has maintained a zero duty level for electric vehicles.

This was outstandingly good and foresightful policy with a view to encouraging our citizens to give up their gas and diesel guzzlers which pollute our island so horribly with fumes and noise.

Every country in the world would appear to have some structure in place to reduce the cost to new buyers of electric vehicles — whether government and state rebates, reduced or zero import duties, or other enticements. Why should Bermuda buck this great trend?

Sadly, although there may be quite a few altruistic souls who want to help save the planet, most car buyers tend to take into account only the price tag of what they perceive is the best value car for the money.

Bermuda should have been in the forefront, leading the charge to have as many electric vehicles on the road as possible and as soon as possible. Instead of which we have, at most, a handful.

This is shameful. Indeed we should all, including the dealers, be ashamed that so few EVs have found their way on to our roads.

Bermuda is not doing its bit to reduce carbon emissions.

I am impassioned with the whole electric car “movement” — as I think thousands of other residents are.

Not only is the Government extremely wise in retaining the zero duty level on electric vehicles, but I believe that in addition, at least for the first thousand courageous early adopters, electric car owners should be given the privilege of no parking fees in Hamilton and elsewhere. And no road tax when licensing their EVs.

Is this too much to hope for in the next Budget?

Furthermore, I would implore government to apply a zero duty level to electric boats and electric outboard motors, also in the next Budget. Or sooner by special legislation?

I would urge the established car dealers to make every effort to bite the bullet, place orders with the brands they represent and import all the electric car models that are available. I am confident the buyers are there.