Electric car dealer says safety has been addressed

| 19/06/2012

DSC_7576.jpg(CNS): Cayman’s exclusive electric car dealer, who has been campaigning for almost a decade to get the eco-cars on to local roads legally, has written to the ministry about the delay in the traffic law. Despite passing a new traffic law in November, paving the way for the registration of electric cars, the legislation has not yet come into force because of a delay to the regulations, which the wroks ministry recently implied was mostly down to safety issues over the electric vehicles. However, John Felder has pointed out that not only did he offer a series of free training seminars, all of the cars he imports meet all the safety requirements of the US National Institute of Highway Safety.

Felder, who has never given up on his goal of selling electric cars here that can drive on all the roads, told the ministry he was grateful to all the officials that “have spent so many hours finalizing the New Traffic Law” and he was looking forward to its implementation.

Pointing out that government could have facilitated the use of electric cars on the highway under the old law, he said that nevertheless he respected government’s decision to overhaul the existing legislation. However, Felder said he regretted that the regulations regarding electric vehicle have slowed the process and they were not addressed ahead of the rest of the regulations. He dismissed the safety fears and pointed out that these vehicles are now in use across the world.

“We are extremely comfortable with all aspects of the safety of Highway Speed Electric Vehicles (HSEV) and are quite sure that the regulators here have satisfied themselves of the safety aspects by looking at other jurisdictions which have permitted electric vehicle licensing for public road use,” he said, adding that he had hosted a special meeting for emergency personnel.

“Regarding the 'First Responders' and issues relating to the safe handling of the Lithium Ion batteries, Cayman Automotive held a special meeting with all the First Responders and the Department of Licensing and Registration last year to address all concerns,” Felder said in his letter to the minister responsible, Juliana O’Connor Connolly.

“The safety of our customers will never be compromised and for this reason I have made a personal decision that only HSEV’s will be sold in Grand Cayman that meet all the safety requirements of the National Institute of Highway Safety in the United States,” he added.

Felder pointed out that all the cars sold by his dealership, Cayman Automotive, are equipped with impact sensors that disconnect all power from the Lithium battery pack in the event of an impact of 30g or greater or airbag deployment. He said this means emergency personnel at an accident scene can work on victims without worrying about the danger of shock to either the victims or themselves from the Lithium battery pack.

“My goal is to make the Cayman Island the model for the Caribbean by assisting in a cleaner environment, providing safe and more economic transportation and advancing all aspects of alternative energy," he said.

Felder has been importing cars for some time in anticipation of the new law and has invested more than $100,000 in green vehicles as well as developing plans for solar power charging stations across the islands.

In a release from the ministry last week O’Connor Connolly distanced herself and the ministry from any responsibility for Felder’s decision to import the cars when she said the ministry had communicated over the years to various car dealers in Cayman that a fully electric vehicle could not be registered and licensed due to the technical components of the vehicles.

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (7)

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  1. Nikola Tesla says:

    Mr. Felder, please keep up the good work for the benefit of Cayman's environment. Please do not get discouraged by inept politicans or government red tape. It is clear that the UDP is not business friendly due to the increases in operating costs and red tape that they have introduced during their time in office.

  2. N Somnia says:

    He should have paid for a fancy table at a UDP bash . . .

  3. SKEPTICAL says:

    I think that somebody should sit down with Ju Ju, and explain to her that ” ELECTRICTY ” is not some dreadful evil force that lies in wait ready to jump out and attack people. And if she and the people in her Ministry are incapable of understanding what it is, and how it can used, then FIND SOMEBODY WHO DOES UNDERSTAND AND DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE. OR, as someone previously suggested, is there a hidden agenda to actually prevent this man from getting the electric car business off the ground

  4. Cheese Face says:

    O’Connor distanced herself and the ministry from any responsibility for Felder’s decision to import the cars when she said

    "the ministry had communicated over the years to various car dealers in Cayman that a fully electric vehicle could not be registered and licensed due to the governments stupidity and general dumbassness"

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr. Felder for publicly addressing this issue.  The delay (yet again) by Government is absolutely ridiculous. Please let's move forward.  Cayman could become even more of a 'desitination' than it is, if we were known for electric cars, renewable energy and small carbon footprint.

  6. Anonymous says:

    These cars ARE safe and used all around the world.  Our greedy politicians have not stopped this due to safety,that is a red herring.  An hour of study and global comparisons was all that was needed. Our politicians are trying to figure out how to profit from the electric cars and how to give contracts to cronies.  Well this time, just DON'T and just do what is RIGHT for the people (and small businessman like Mr. Felder) and just let this project move forward.

  7. anonymous says:

    Did some one not get paid?  What is the hold up. Peole are still driving using ceel phones each day they delay puts lives at risk.  Thain the responders tlike the rest of the world has.

    Lets get going.