Are Islands The Ideal Location For Electric Vehicles?

If you think about it, in many cases electric vehicles especially make sense for island dwellers.

There’s usually a relatively short distances between settlements, it’s expensive and hazardous to import oil, plus there are smaller populations and a greater number of higher income residents. If there ever was a location where driving a pure EV every day seemed the logical choice, an island is it.

We already know about Mitsubishi’s push on the Hawaiian island of Oahu with its i-MiEV electric vehicle and indeed Better Place has already undertaken a plan to construct some 70 charging stations through the archipelago, including Kauai, Maui and the Big Island in addition to Oahu (Pike Research’s EV Geographic Forecast predicts 14,700 Plug-in Electric Vehicles on Hawaiian roads by 2017).

Further island projects for Better Place EV charging construction include the Japanese Home Islands and even Australia.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, other islands are putting in place their own EV infrastructure plans. In Bermuda and also the Cayman Islands, a company called Cayman Automotive Leasing is introducing Electric Vehicles, while another firm, Amp Electric Vehicles, has signed an agreement with local solar charging station outfit U-Go Stations to begin importing converted SUVs to Bermuda (encouraged by the island’s government which waves tariffs on EVs).

In places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, solar charging stations make a great deal of sense, in view of the amount of sunlight these nations receive (Bermuda alone receives some 2950 average sunshine hours each year). As a result, the concept of true zero emissions motoring looks like it could well have a bright future in paradise, based on early indications.

Pike Research


  • Van

    I believe a sunset law could be passed on islands that allow driving the existing car for 10 years, but any new car must be electric. Buses, trucks excepted for now. Once the next generation of EV hits the market, circa 2015, with a range in excess of 120 miles, such a law would make sense.

    Also a law that says only EV’s can enter National Parks in ten years also seems like a good idea.

    And finally, on a different subject, wouldn’t it be nice if cities were required to post on their internet sites, the particulate matter concentration locations (i.e. next to freeway) where the PM might contribute to premature death.

    If we shine the light of truth on the exhaust pipe, like we do the cigarette, that would help us enter a better place.

  • Max Reid

    Yes its perfect for islands to go EVs. Indonesia has 15,000 islands, Japan 4,000 and many islands may not be connected to 1 another, so all their driving will be < 100 miles or even < 100 km.

    Later bigger islands can slowly transition.

    Infact even in a large country like China, many farmers are buying EVs with 50 km range and those vehicles have Lead Acid batteries, but cost only $5,000. Thats good for them to go to the nearby village/town and get their produce.

  • Shines

    I agree with Max. I don’t know about Better Place EV charging stations in Australia. It is a pretty frikkin big “island”…

  • Old Man Crowder

    How resilient is the power supply when hurricanes and typhoons blow through these islands?

    Other than that, I would think EVs could be a good thing for those little pockets of people.