By Theresa Goodwin
The general manager of one of the country’s local car dealerships is recommending a softer transition from an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle to a more energy efficient type of transportation beginning with a hybrid instead of full electric.
Paul Ryan of Antigua Motors has pointed out that while the transition is worthwhile from an environmental standpoint, it would be financially challenging for the average consumer.
He also explained that international car companies have been a bit hesitant to accept the entire transition for several reasons. Antigua Motors is the local authorised dealers for Honda and Chevrolet.
“The company that I represent, Honda Motor Company, they have been pushing towards hybrid vehicles which have a small motor to assist the batteries instead of having to plug into a charging station.
“We are faced with many challenges right now in the automobile industry. Electric cars are simply not available to us as yet; it is a challenge to the manufacturers to cope with making the batteries at this time with what is happening in the United States with the shortage of chips; they have instructed their manufactures not to do any exports of electric vehicles now because the capacity to produce is limited,” Ryan said.
Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which uses energy stored in batteries. The vehicle cannot be plugged in to charge the battery. Instead, the battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine.
Another possible downside to transitioning to electric vehicles, Ryan pointed out is the fact that some jobs such as mechanics and other car-care related fields will fast become obsolete.
He is advising nationals who are thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle to conduct independent research on the brand and the life cycle of the battery since some are very expensive to replace.