Applying facts is the best way to make a decision. But people don't let facts get in the way of a good story. So, this means that this endeavor could be a sad story, a boring story or another one bites the dust story. But a scientific viewpoint is a tough thing to get rid of, once you learn to use it. Ghosts, magic and rumors turn to vapor when under the empirical eye. That is why I greatly admire Elon Musk.
Musk made fools out of major car manufacturers, solar panel distributors, and those who thought a successful private space transport industry would not be in our lifetimes. He singlehandedly proved them wrong with science and research. I just want to copy his Tesla model and sprinkle in some Zipcar or Relayrides. The Friendly Island is easily covered by any electric vehicle's battery pack. The sun shines all of the time. So why are countries with less sun and longer driving commutes already on their second and third generation EVs and many Caribbean islands haven't seen its first?
Money isn't the obstacle, because the cars are now so cheap that if you can afford to import a car, you can import an EV. They cost less to run & maintain. They are comfortable and useful as we hope to show & prove right here. Can electric car sharing make island life more friendly? Here's a hint, the answer is yes!
Don't say there's no place to charge them, because any place you can charge a phone can also charge an EV. The plug should be outside, for convenience. It may take longer than your laptop, but how far you going? Anguilla? This year, a solar panel seller & installer owner bought a Nissan Leaf, the first in Anguilla. Same for SXM, although that owner was not in the solar business. But even though its not a third world country, electricity is something that Caribbean islanders know is not 99.95% uninterruptible, like it is in the US or the EU.
How long will the batteries last? The manufacturers of the most EVs are covering their warranties for 100,000 miles. Which means that if they are willing to back their cars for that long they should last longer than that. There are EVs built in 2002 still running well. Some being sold are asking for more than $10,000 US. Check eBay or adhuntr.com. Some owners have replaced the batteries in those 15 year old cars for $5000 US.
There are some other COOL things EVs can do. Like start the AC before you get in the car, so that its as nice in your car as it is in your home or office when you enter. It can give you the status of the battery from an app or a mobile device depending on the car. They definitely can charge your phone by USB or lighter plug.
Back to the plan. Bring EVs to SXM and make them easily available to rent or share in the same way Zipcar has made cars, a service provided to the international community. Tesla has a charging system free to those who purchased their vehicles. This equals free fuel, which I would assume means lifelong customers. Many of the stations are solar powered, which means moderate initial cost and almost zero maintenance costs for the business. This approach would be especially beneficial for parts of SXM where electric rates are high or in places of power fluctuations occur. Some companies build stations that can be moved by flatbed truck or towed in case demand becomes more popular in one place versus another.
The possibilities are vast. New technology that can boost safety, health, efficiency and usefulness for all. It would even reduce traffic, car exhaust, noise and brownouts. It could increase preparedness after calamities by making access to power mobile, since EVs are really big batteries on wheels. In Japan, they can power a house for over a full day from an EV.
SXM offers the world a great place to get away. That also means SXM has world influence to take advantage of. Facts should be the guide. Other island nations are advancing. Oil will not decrease in price. It has no reason to get cleaner. Sun is abundant. Solar panels will get cheaper. But one step at a time. We need more EVs in Saint Martin. We are looking for some Friendly Islanders to join our business experiment. What can you offer? Would you buy a car if it came with a lifetime of fuel? Would you share it with others?