Overview of public policies in favour of the transport sector’s energy transition in OECS member states, and a preliminary study on the feasibility of retrofitting

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titre contexte

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with its Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency, plays a very active role in the field of E-mobility, for example through the C-SERMS programme (Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap & Strategy). In February 2020 it published its «Regional Electric Vehicle Strategy  (REVS).

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is a group of states that are virtually all members of CARICOM and will therefore benefit from the roll-out of the C-SERMS programme. he OECS itself puts a great deal of effort into E-mobility matters, notably through a close cooperation with GIZ, and also works closely with each of the member States and their ministers in charge of these topics.

We still observe the following issues at Caribbean level:            

  • It is still sometimes difficult to determine and share best practices and feedback at regional level,
  • Most of the time, recommendations on public policies deal mainly with the tax aspects and do not always provide specific recommendations for the sector’s professionals (training and retraining of technicians, assistance in creating a new market for electric vehicles, impacts on job types and numbers in traditional activities of the automotive industry, etc.),
  • Most studies on electric mobility almost systematically anticipate importations of E-vehicles (new or second-hand) and, to date, only a few studies ont été réalisées have been carried out on the possibility of retrofitting internal combustion engine vehicles locally to convert them into electric ones.
  • Furthermore, the tourism sector, which weighs heavily in the economy in Caribbean countries, could be a driving force for the use of rented electric vehicles (green tourism). Under the Paris Agreement, a number of Caribbean states have therefore committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.
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titre objet
Purpose of the study
Objet de l’intervention

Because the growth of electromobility relies on the quality of the power supply (transport and electricity distribution networks), and on its availability at charging terminals (geography) and at the time of recharging embedded batteries (planning), these different aspects need to be dealt with.   

Firstly, this study will produce an inventory of energy production (share of renewable energies and evolution of the energy mix) and public policies on green transportation, for all OECS member States.      

After identifying the 3 member States that are the most active in transport matters and the most inclined to cooperate on the local retrofit of thermal vehicles to convert them to E-vehicles, a pre-feasibility study on retrofitting for those 3 countries will be conducted (economic, technical and environmental aspects of retrofitting, as well as aspects relating to the upskilling of the sector’s private players, etc.). 

Finally, a set of new public policies that could be implemented in support of the development of retrofitting in the 3 pre-identified countries, will be proposed. A key item will be the needs analysis in terms of support for the private transport sector, to facilitate its transition to more sustainability mobility.

titre périmètre
Scope of the study
Périmètre de l’analyse

The study covers the 9 OECS member countries: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Guadeloupe and Martinique will serve as benchmarks for the energy mix and public policies applying to the transport sector.

The scope of the retrofit pre-feasibility study is as follows: 

  • Vehicle types: Personal vehicles (cars only), public transport vehicles (buses) and utility vehicles (lorries, vans, etc.);
  • Retrofit types: Conversions to electric “battery” solutions only (not hybrid, hydrogen, biogas or biofuel);
  • Geographical area: Selected individual OECS states.
titre méthodologies
Méthodologies de l’intervention

The work will be carried out in 3 phases:

Phase 1. Inventory of the energy mix and public policies in the transport sector, in all OECS member States.

  • Detailed inventory of electricity production and consumption, and renewable energy production capacity (current and planned)     ;
  • Inventory of public policies in the sustainable transport sector     ;
  • Selection of 3 OECS member States for a more in-depth analysis during the second part of the study.

Phase 2. Retrofit pre-feasibility study in the 3 selected States.

  • Current status of vehicles in circulation     ;
  • Determination of the type(s) of retrofit kit that would be suitable for the main vehicle types currently in circulation;
  • Retrofit economic analysis     ;
  • Environmental impact of retrofitting and comparison with scenarios for the importation of new and second-hand electric vehicles     ; 
  • Capacity requirements for roll-out of the retrofitting programme     );

Phase 3. Recommendations

  • Identification of the means of implementing new public policies on sustainable transport in the selected countries, and particularly those relating to support for the private sector, legal aspects, and grant possibilities.
  • Recommendations listing the public policies needed to set up sustainable mobility solutions in the states studied in detail, also including recommendations for the roll-out of a retrofitting programme in Caribbean island states.
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