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Electric vehicles to be subject to duty to counter lost revenue with green drive

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Wayne Furbert, the Minister of Transport, discusses plans from the 2022 Throne Speech (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Electric vehicles brought to the island will be subject to import duty — although the transport minister said it was too early to say when.

Wayne Furbert, speaking at a press conference yesterday in the wake of the 2022 Throne Speech, said that he had raised the issue with car dealers.

He noted that stopping the sale and importation of vehicles using fossil fuels by a 2035 deadline, the Government would face a loss of revenue if the tax break continued for EVs.

“I said there has to be a time in life when some duty has to be paid. The question is when, and how much.

“When things start out, it’s more costly. When we have more electronic vehicles being produced by manufacturers around the world, the cost goes down.”

Mr Furbert said imposing an import duty on electric vehicles would have to be timed to “not make it too overbearing”.

Project Ride

Training on the road will be added to the Project Ride training programme for young people starting out driving motorcycles.

Wayne Furbert, the transport minister, said regulations for a learner’s permit would be introduced.

Project Ride deals with 400 to 600 people a year but has been “challenged due to the absence of on-road training”, he said.

“The first time a Bermuda Youth Licence holder interacts with actual traffic is after they have obtained their licence.

“This is too late.”

He said the learner’s permit would be issued only once a student passed the theory exam and reached age 16.

“The permit can then be used for instruction and the final riding exams on public roads.”

Mr Furbert said the programme would remain directed at younger people rather than adults new to the road.

He added that he did not expect to see a change in the cost of the programme.

He highlighted the savings in public transport from switching buses from diesel to electric, and said the island’s size made it “a prime candidate” for electric vehicles “without the need for long-range vehicles or frequent charging”.

Mr Furbert said despite the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, most of Bermuda’s nearly 22,000 licensed private vehicles still run on petrol.

“The slow pace of adoption can be attributed in part to the limited availability of EV models on the island.

“To this end, the ministry will review sizes of EVs so that more models are made available.”

He said the plan to phase out the sale and importation of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035 marked “a significant development for Bermuda” with “benefits for the environment and the people”.

Asked if he was confident the island could make the switch in 13 years, he said: “I think we can — there are countries around the world, Norway I believe, that have really pushed ahead.

“We can do things a little at a time.”

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Published November 09, 2022 at 7:51 am (Updated November 09, 2022 at 2:37 pm)

Electric vehicles to be subject to duty to counter lost revenue with green drive

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