Sun | Jun 20, 2021

Electric fever

JPS makes two-week free offer at service station in St Ann

Published:Saturday | May 8, 2021 | 12:26 AMChristopher Serju/Senior Gleaner Writer
Richard Gordon, manager, business development at JPS explains how the electric vehicle charging station works yesterday when the company commissioned its first public electric vehicle charging station at Boot Service Station, Drax Hall, in St Ann on Friday
Richard Gordon, manager, business development at JPS explains how the electric vehicle charging station works yesterday when the company commissioned its first public electric vehicle charging station at Boot Service Station, Drax Hall, in St Ann on Friday.

In a revolutionary move, for the next two weeks the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) will pay the owners of electric vehicles (EV) who opt to charge their vehicles at the Boot Service Station in Draxhall, St Ann, utilising the country’s first public electric vehicle charging station.

This offer was announced by President and CEO of JPS, Michel Gantois, during Friday’s commissioning of the first of 10 such charging stations the company plans to install across the island by the end of July. They will be located at Total in Ironshore, St James; Manor Park and Harbour View in St Andrew and Port Antonio in Portland, with the location of the other five stations yet to be disclosed.

In order to register and take advantage of the introductory offer, owners of electric vehicles will need to download the ChargeLab app and create an account, using their credit card. They can also request a radio frequency identification (FRID) user card linked to the same account. Motorists who sign up for the special 14-day introductory offer can receive their FRID cards free of cost and with it they can just swipe, charge their vehicles and go. Hence the tag line for the initiative, Charge and Go!

The ChargeLab app will advise motorists as to the type of plugs which are available at the charging station, their charging capacity and the cost of charging.

Gantois told his audience that the event was about much more than just the commissioning of an electric charging station and was in fact about the future of energy and transportation in Jamaica and in keeping with a global shift towards electric vehicles. Cheaper to operate and maintain than internal combustion engine vehicles, electric vehicles will be part of the future, according to the JPS CEO.

He disclosed that the company’s vision goes well beyond be the electric vehicle infrastructure and that its focus will be on the entire electric mobility ecosystem that will support the end-to-end requirements for the operation of electric vehicles in Jamaica.

“The new electric mobility system is about all of Jamaica. It’s about building new skill sets and providing new job opportunities for people to work in an emerging industry. We want to create internship opportunities for students, training opportunities for technicians and mechanics and for first responders.

“This is also about creating innovative financing opportunities for persons who want to pursue new ventures in the electric vehicle industry. It is about creating a cleaner environment where our bus and taxi drivers can operate vehicles with zero emissions and low maintenance costs,” Gantois said.

Acknowledging the transportation sector as a vital part of the pulse of Jamaica’s economy, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Daryl Vaz, said it represented a significant and welcome turn in the tides for the country’s move to e-mobility.

“As witnessed here, the work is being done to build out the physical infrastructure, so as minister, I now have to drive faster in readying the legislative component,” he said.