In This Review

Electrified Islands: The Road to E-Mobility in the Caribbean
Electrified Islands: The Road to E-Mobility in the Caribbean
By Lisa Viscidi, Nate Graham, Marcelino Madrigal, Malaika Masson, Veronica R. Prado, and Juan Cruz Monticelli
Inter-American Dialogue, Inter-American Development Bank, and the Organization of American States, 2019, 28 pp.

Finally, a good news story for the long-suffering islands of the Caribbean. The relatively small size of these islands makes them practical places to convert vehicles to run on batteries and to generate power for those vehicles from potentially abundant renewables such as energy from wind, the sun, and biomass. For too long, dependence on imported oil has contributed to crippling external debt levels, price inflation, and weak currencies in the region. Pairing electric vehicle deployment with an expansion of renewable energy could make Caribbean nations less vulnerable to the fluctuating price of oil, reduce transport and electricity costs, and drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles could also bolster resilience by storing energy that might otherwise be cut off during natural disasters. The authors of this snappy policy brief produce case studies of Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, arguing that these islands’ relatively small fleets of vehicles could be quickly electrified and that charging networks will not need to be as extensive in Caribbean nations as they would have to be in larger countries. The authors urge governments in the Caribbean to transform nature’s potential into national progress.