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Clean Transport

Published on April 19th, 2017 | by James Ayre


Cuba’s High-Octane Gas/Petrol Shortage Drawing The Interest Of Miami EV Dealer

April 19th, 2017 by  

One of the possible advantages of electric vehicles over internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, depending on specific circumstances, is the simple fact that they don’t require liquid fuels to run. In other words, gas/petrol shortages won’t necessarily stop you from using your car.

With that in mind, as well as the current high-octane gasoline/petrol shortage in Cuba, the Miami-based subsidiary of Automotive Leasing and Sales Co. known as Premier Automotive Export has begun targeting the Cuban market with EVs.

Importantly, the subsidiary had previously been licensed by the US government to sell vehicles to non-state entities in Cuba (embassies, private companies, etc.) as part of the detente under former US President Barack Obama.

The owner of Premier’s Cayman Islands–based parent firm Automotive Leasing and Sales Co., John Felder, commented: “We put together a special offer and are distributing the flier — a 2016 Nissan Leaf electric sedan, plus super charger, for $25,000, including shipping direct from Miami to Mariel Port.”

Considering the limited size of Cuba, that really doesn’t sound like such a bad deal, especially since owners would never be dependent entirely upon gasoline/petrol again — a useful thing when living in a place with limited access to international markets/goods. Not that a steady supply of electricity can’t be a problem, but it’s a problem with considerably more potential solutions than a gas/petrol shortage has.

As a bit of further background here, the Cuban government recently cut deliveries of high-octane gasoline/petrol — something that is less of an issue for those running older, vintage American and Soviet-era vehicles than for wealthier people using modern vehicles (which require better quality fuel).

Reuters provides more: “To date, Felder has sold just one of his vehicles, to the Guyanese Embassy before the shortages began. Ambassador Halim Majeed said his government purchased the car as part of its green energy initiative, but now it has proved handy indeed.”

The ambassador noted: “I’m lucky, and I’m happy about that.” He also noted that other diplomats had shown interest before the gas/petrol shortages, but that this has increased since they began.

“It is natural that when one faces an issue, you devise ways and means to overcome that challenge,” he noted, “and in this situation, the electrical vehicle can help do that.”

The Reuters coverage provided a bit more context: “Cuba depends on crisis-racked ally Venezuela for about 70% of its fuel needs, including oil for refining and re-exports. But socialist Venezuela’s subsidized shipments have fallen by as much as 40% since 2014. Potential new suppliers usually want cash due to Cuba’s poor credit rating. Two of three Cuban refineries have closed or have operated well below capacity for months.”

So, the situation looks as though it’s possibly a long-term one. Maybe some of the other embassies in Cuba will catch on?

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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