IS JAMAICA’S ENTRY INTO THE ELECTRIC
VEHICLE MARKET A GOOD IDEA?
by Valentine Fagan, Professional Engineer, Power System Consultant and Chairman, Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) Electric Vehicle Working Group.
The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has a statutory responsibility to regulate the provision of specified utility services (electricity, telecommunications, water and sewerage). This is done under the provisions of the OUR Act and where applicable, sector specific legislation and regulatory instruments.
A critical aspect of the OUR’s mandate is to ensure the provision of economically priced and reliable utility services to Jamaican consumers. As part of its forward-looking approach to regulation, the OUR has noted the trends and promises of Electricity Vehicle (EV) technology to ensure that the local electricity sector is primed to take full advantage of emerging opportunities. The OUR has developed preliminary recommendations that are currently the focus of public consultation from research into markets that are successfully adopting EVs.
Globally, EVs are becoming increasingly popular as environmentally and economically viable alternative means of transportation. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global EV sales grew in 2020, even while the rest of the vehicle market sales contracted by 19% from the economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic. The IEA projects that globally, the number of battery-powered and hybrid vehicles could increase from 10 million in 2020 to nearly 140 million by 2030.