Saturday, February 04, 2017

Electric Leaf Goes to Cuba

The ingenuity Cubans use to keep their vintage American hulks of steel on the road is famous world-wide.  During the half-century of economic embargo parts for the dirty classics are hard to find at any price.  Often Soviet-era Russian parts have to be adapted to fit.  They still run on leaded gasoline, which pollutes the atmosphere [photo below]. Now that relations have thawed somewhat thanks to former Pope John Paul, Cubans may be driving newer, cleaner American-made vehicles.  The news is:  they are electric.  Nissan's successful, electric Leaf {08.11.10}, made in the USA, will be exported to the island nation under a US Treasury trade license granted to Premier Automotive Export of Miami and the Caymans.  [photo above, credit: G. Meyers]

The cold war "Catch 22" is the electric vehicles cannot be sold to Cuba's communist government, but they can be used by American businesses and embassies based in Cuba.  Owner of the export company is optimistic the car will be popular with the Cuban people despite the trade restrictions still in place. Cars cannot be resold without permission from the US government, but they can be sold to self-employed Cubans and non-state businesses.  There is no limit on the number of electric cars that can be imported. They will be delivered to the island by a twice weekly container ship from Port Everglades, Florida.  This is a business that make sense for the planet.