eDrive project gets launched
The JPS Foundation and IDB Lab have launched Project eDrive in preparation for the new era of business opportunities expected to follow the approval of the Electric Vehicle Mobility Policy announced on Wednesday, June 8, by Minister of Science Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz.
The Electric Vehicle Mobility policy, once signed off by the Chief Parliamentary Council, will allow Jamaicans to import electric vehicles at a concessionary rate of 10 per cent of the value of the vehicle.
Project eDrive, which is being implemented by the JPS Foundation, has been established to support the growth of electric vehicle usage in Jamaica as well as supporting services. It also aims to create awareness and encourage capacity building within the sector. This will include technical training, the creation of opportunities for market sensitisation, and new business model development.
In light of this, Project eDrive recently hosted a successful five-day boot camp aimed at identifying entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in electric mobility and assisting them in growing their ideas into profitable businesses.
Speaking at the opening session of the camp, Gary Barrow, chief operating officer, JPS, suggested that the introduction of electric vehicles to Jamaica’s automotive sector was just one of the positive impacts of the many developments happening within the energy industry. He shared that the company and its foundation would continue working towards enabling a sustainable environment that supports the use of electric vehicles.
The boot camp was facilitated by the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship-Caribbean and was held under the theme ‘Pioneering Solutions to Energy and Transport Problems’. It saw 30 start-up entrepreneurs within Jamaica’s energy and transport sector being selected to participate.
The sessions focused on different aspects of entrepreneurial success and covered topics such as goal setting, the business model canvas, developing the toolkit to build momentum, validating a business idea and how to successfully pitch same.
Start-up entrepreneurs in attendance were exposed to business best practices by industry experts, including Lauri-Ann Ainsworth, CEO of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean; Clare Bailey, Head of Programmes and Strategic Partnerships at the Branson Center of Entrepreneurship Caribbean; and Kerrie Richards, founder of Business Growth Rocket.
For their part, boot camp participants were pleased with the outcomes:
“The eDrive Entrepreneurial Boot Camp was a brand-new experience giving me first-hand knowledge of the importance of branding, demography, and physiographical studies. It was a truly mind-blowing experience and one that has prepared me for a greater depth in the passionate pursuit of creating generational wealth and success,” shared one participant.
Another boot camp member, Matthew Ferguson of Gizmo’s Computer Support and Services, said, “I’ve been an avid, enthusiastic, loudmouth electric mobility fan for quite some time as I wanted people to save money and save the planet! … After deep self-analysis and reflection, learning from others, taking notes on how other professionals presented their businesses during the five-day boot camp, I was positively impacted … . The experience of being around like-minded individuals and learning from the best on how to jump-start our business has undoubtedly already paid a lifetime of dividends.”
Through eDrive, the JPS Foundation intends to fully build out an electric mobility ecosystem and will, in the coming weeks, begin training persons in electric vehicle maintenance and as first responders.