eDrive puts light on electric vehicle
In a bid to help Jamaicans become more electric-vehicle (EV) friendly, Project eDrive developed a tour to tackle some of the common myths associated with EVs.
“As part of our public-education campaign, we want to dispel myths about EV, and when we started out in 2020, we found out many persons were having ‘range anxiety’. Basically, persons want to know if they would be able to get from point A to point B on a single charge. So this tour is aimed at tackling the many misconceptions around EVs,” said Colleen Palmer Wright, eDrive project manager.
To make it both engaging and fun, they outlined an excursion, which involved a roundtrip from Kingston to Montego Bay using an BMW iX1, which was fully electrically operated and was provided by ATL Automotives. The tour also included representatives from JPS, General Accident (GA), and the media.
“Working with ATL was a natural choice as BMW is a beloved car by Jamaicans, and after having several joint discussions with them, we decided that the iX1 would be the perfect model for this journey,” she added.
To involve some excitement to the tour, eDrive brought along Jamaican Youtuber and auto enthusiast Nick Lue of Skvnk Lifestyle, who got the opportunity to test-drive the BMW iX1, which was the lead car for the tour. “I really plan to push the range to the limit because I want to see how far this vehicle can go on a single charge and how effectively the regenerative brake works,” said Lue.
JPS did not want to be left out of the fun so they brought their own BYD EV, driven by Andre Mangue, JPS Charge ‘n’ Go representative. He also made himself available to answer some of the more technical questions such as battery life and range.
“A lot of persons think they are going to run up their light bill to charge their EVs, however, the rates are very comparable and in some cases cheaper. So for me, that’s the myth that I will be busting today,” disclosed Mangue.
The journey incorporated the use of several charging stations, which included the starting point at Chamber’s Texaco service station in New Kingston after which, the convoy, which consisted of three EVs, journeyed to the next stop at another Charge ‘n’ Go location at Boot Service station in St Ann. Here, Richard Gordon, business development manager at JPS, provided some insight into the various charging stations. “We currently have 10 stations islandwide, and we have another 12 to install this year.”
In keeping with the world trend of clean energy and carbon neutrality, the eDrive team and JPS are ardently pushing forward with their sensitisation of EVs. “We are seeing an increase in persons being interested in the technology, and you see the automotive dealers importing more EVs. The national projection is for 50,000 EVs to be on Jamaican roads by 2030, and we are making preparations for that,” disclosed Winsome Callum, director of corporate communications, JPS.
After the team spent about 40 minutes at the boot station, they headed over to Scotchies for lunch, where the team got to mingle with each other before heading to Montego Bay. On this final leg, lead-car driver Nick Lue decided to stop by his favourite crab vendor in Trelawny, and the eDrive and JPS team used this opportunity to gift him with a JPS voucher valued at $5,000.
The final stop in Iron Shore was where insurance company General Accident notified persons that they had policies that catered to EVs. “We were the first company in Jamaica to provide coverage for EVs, which is a standard comprehensive coverage, with a special extension, where we repair, replace, or reinstate your charging port if it is at your home in the event of a loss or damage. We also have a 24-hour wrecker service for EVs,” shared Tiffany Hamilton, underwriter, GA.
Of course, with EVs being relatively new to our market, the myth-busting tour by eDrive came in a timely manner as many persons have expressed interest in the technology but want more information.
Project eDrive is the collaborative effort of the JPS Foundation and IDB Lab created to support the growth of electric-vehicle usage in Jamaica and the associated support services in preparation for the new era of business opportunities expected to follow the approval of the Electric Vehicle Mobility Policy announced in 2022.