Business

Electric vehicles vendor pleased by duty reduction

Easy Car Sales owner Pia Farmer yesterday welcomed the reduction in customs duty to 10 percent for electric vehicles up to $70,000, adding that it would make it easier for more businesses to save on costs during a particularly trying time.

After a 10 percent jump in sales during 2021, Farmer said earlier this year that the company had a goal to double its sales target in 2022, but that a reduction in duty for larger, more expensive cars would be necessary in order to get more businesses to switch to electric vehicles.

Prime Minister Philip Davis made the announcement on Wednesday, during his 2022/2023 budget communication, that the government would reduce the duty on electric cars with a value of under $70,000 to 10 percent, and that the duty for vehicles over $70,000 would be 25 percent.

“I think that changing the ceiling from 50,000 to 70,000 with a 10 percent duty is going to be good news, particularly for businesses, because businesses sometimes need larger vehicles like trucks and vans that won’t come in under $50,000, so it’s going to help them to have better transportation and more choices for their fleet,” he said.

“Of course, delivery vehicles and businesses are benefiting greatly from driving electric because it reduces their costs so much. They go from paying $6 a gallon plus for gas, to $1 in electricity to go the same distance. So, they’re saving $5 per gallon. So, I think it’s good for businesses to raise the ceiling.”

Farmer has also lobbied for the elimination of duty on the chargers for electric vehicles, which are currently set at 45 percent. She said she was disappointed there was no mention of such provisions in the prime minister’s communication.

Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis said yesterday it was an oversight that the government would look into.

“That would be great because we need a national network of chargers, especially fast chargers, so that people can charge their cars quickly when they don’t have a charger at home. So it would be very important because that would allow an expansion of the national network and more investment in fast chargers, which are already expensive, so to charge 45 percent on that, nobody is going to buy it,” Farmer said.   

Farmer, who has long advocated for Bahamians to switch to cleaner electric cars, said the company is very pleased that the government has moved toward the green agenda.

“We are very happy that the government has an intention to reduce its carbon footprint and choosing electric vehicles for their fleet is a good way to do it, because every gas car that is replaced by a 100 percent electric vehicle, we’re going to reduce harmful emissions, carbon dioxide emissions by 4.6 metric tons per car per year, so that is significant and we applaud that,” she said. 

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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