Guyana offering sweet incentive package to support Electric Vehicles Industry – GEA Head

  • Kiana Wilburg
  • June 12, 2024
  • Articles

In keeping with Guyana’s green energy ambition goals, authorities are creating an enabling environment for electric vehicles to become the new norm. According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Dr. Mahender Sharma, this entails the construction of charging stations, the training of technicians, and a sweet incentive package.

Sharma expounded on these factors during his inaugural appearance on the Energy Perspectives podcast, a platform powered by the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo.

The GEA official said it was in 2020 that his agency acquired its first electric vehicle.

“We were able to charge it in our building and I drove that vehicle, so I have a firsthand account and it’s extremely enjoyable. If I can continue to afford it for the rest of my life, I don’t want to switch back to a fossil-based vehicle,” said Sharma.

He said this experience was necessary in alleviating some of the initial fears he had which included the impact on certain functions such as air conditioning.

“All of these little idiosyncrasies were addressed simply by experiencing it and it functions like a regular vehicle. There are no issues, maintenance is very low in electric vehicles. I don’t have to change the oil and filter. There is no muffler, no engine. There is very little noise. All I do is put air in the tyres and windshield wash and we’ve been using it that way since 2020,” Sharma said, adding that this encouraged the agency to purchase another in 2023.

At the national level, Sharma said the government made a very significant decision to remove taxes from electric vehicles. “Essentially, you can go and buy an electric vehicle now and you pay absolutely no tax…. Government also instituted a 50% write down allowance on electric vehicles.

“What does that mean? If you operate a business, you can purchase an electric vehicle and you deduct 50% of that value from your profit margin per year, so in two years, you can put the entire cost of that vehicle into your tax declarations. So, you pay that much less taxes for those two years and it’s an extremely attractive incentive for businesses,” said Sharma.

Further to this generous incentive regime, Sharma said mechanics and auto-electricians have been trained, initially with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He said GEA is doing these training sessions, now boasting a complement of 50 mechanics and auto electricians, all of whom have been certified by an expert from the UK.

In terms of charging stations, he said there are six across the country. Dr. Sharma said these are in Parika, the Amazonia Mall, Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Giftland, Little Rock in New Amsterdam, and at the GEA. He said that there is an application that supports the six EV units which can show drivers which charging station is free or busy. Dr. Sharma said there is free charging for electric vehicles, adding another incentive for persons to switch from fossil fuel-based vehicles.

Overall, the GEA official said commendable progress is being made on getting the local market prepared for the electric vehicles industry, in keeping with the nation’s mission to have a green economy by 2030.