EV Charging On Caymans: Solar, Naturally

Most people recognize the sun-splashed Cayman Islands for one of two things: relaxing vacations spent lolling along Seven Mile Beach or off-shore financial “services.” Now, the tax-free mecca is has another alluring attraction – solar powered charging stations.

According to the islands’ tourism agency, in late November, the Caymans became “the first destination to approve the national implementation of solar panel charging stations for electric vehicles.” Over the next year, the Pennsylvania company U-Go, which has set up a handful of charging stations in the Northeast U.S., is reportedly set to help build an electric-vehicle infrastructure on Grand Cayman with solar panel charging stations.

wheego

image via Wheego

The first of the 12 solar chargers scheduled to dot Grand Cayman’s 76 square miles is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. That’s just in time, as the island just passed new provisions allowing electric vehicles to be registered and driven on its roads. In a further stroke of good timing, Cayman Automotive dealership just began selling its line of electric cars and tourists are now able to rent Wheego electric vehicles (seen above) during their stays.

The U-Go solar panel charging stations offer free charges to EV drivers and when not in use feed power back into the island’s power grid. The Level 2 chargers can supply a full charge in about six hours. According to premier of the Cayman Islands, Hon. McKeeva Bush, “The solar panel charging station is at the forefront of the green movement, and we are proud to be able to implement this innovative technology in the Cayman Islands. As a destination, the Cayman Islands has long recognized the importance of environmentally friendly technologies and we remain dedicated to its conservation efforts.”

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.