Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, on Friday (May 7), officially commissioned into service, Jamaica’s first public electric vehicle charging facility at the Boot Service Station in Drax Hall, St. Ann.
The charging station was installed by the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), and is aimed at encouraging more Jamaicans to make the shift to electric vehicles as a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly option.
The company plans to install 10 charging stations across the island by the end of July.
In his address, Minister Vaz said that the charging station is a “game changing development” in Jamaica’s move towards e-mobility.
“Today, this overarching vision has been given true life. We laud the Jamaica Public Service for its steady contribution to the modernisation of the energy sector and it is a remarkable win for our country and our people,” he said.
“I have stated before that electric vehicles are the future. Well, today I am looking forward to driving into the future,” he declared.
Mr. Vaz said that with the building-out of the physical infrastructure, the Government is pushing ahead to ready the legislative component, which will enable the country to capitalise on more opportunities linked to e-mobility.
“The legislative framework that we are developing will also address the potential of the electric vehicle market to enhance the affordability of public transportation as well as commercial transportation,” he pointed out.
“This also supports the mission of our national energy policy to ensure that our industry structures embrace eco-efficiency for advancing international competitiveness and the move towards building a green economy,” he added.
For his part, President and CEO of JPS, Michel Gantois, said that the company’s vision goes beyond installing charging stations.
“Our focus is on the entire electric vehicle ecosystem,” he said, noting that the entity will be collaborating with public and private partners in the undertaking.
Mr. Gantois said that an electric vehicle ecosystem will not only make transportation more affordable for Jamaicans but also reduce the country’s fuel bill.
“It will increase people’s available budget for something other than fuel in their car,” he pointed out.