Could the Bolt play a Role in Cuba? - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Could the Bolt play a Role in Cuba?

With their borders opening up and oil an expensive import there could be a real opportunity for them to leverage their EV platform, that is if they can get the cost down enough to make it viable.

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The question remains of charging the cars’ lithium-ion batteries. While the technology easily enables the cars’ 30-mile to 35-mile range, and electricity is still less expensive than imported oil, charging stations are critical to the project.

Cuba has long struggled with high oil prices, and has for years participated in Venezuela’s “Petrocaribe” discount program, started in 2005, selling oil to 13 Caribbean countries at discounts between 40 percent and 60 percent. The balance of the price, however, is still due, although financed at favorable interest rates over 25 years. But the recent collapse in oil prices has left Venezuela, already economically and politically troubled, grasping for cash. Cuba owes Caracas $14 billion.

The Cuban government is very vulnerable right now … [it is] totally dependent on Venezuela for the majority of their oil,” Mr. Felder said. “Renewable energy is the answer and they have an action plan to reduce their dependence.”
Now would that not be a fantastic PR campaign for Chevrolet. "Tearing down Communism one EV at a time" they could do a mini series about the hardships of building charging infrastructure in Havana or something...

http://www.compasscayman.com/caycomp...ayman-Islands/
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 12:44 PM
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This article is really great to see. If the electrical car movement to Cuba is a success. This will definitely lead to a great PR campaign for Chevy. However, will Chevy be apart of this jump or is Wheego they sole main manufacturer?
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 04:53 PM
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I just don't see Cuba developing the infrastructure for this quickly enough to address their problems. All their cars are from the 50s and 60s right now. Its a big leap to setup a EV charging network from that.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 06:27 PM
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EV's will be part of a long-term solution, so while they may not have the infastructure right now getting that off the ground is at least a start.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by volta View Post
I just don't see Cuba developing the infrastructure for this quickly enough to address their problems. All their cars are from the 50s and 60s right now. Its a big leap to setup a EV charging network from that.
They have electricity in Cuba, plenty of sun and a more then friendly relationship with China who basically has a monopoly on solar panel construction globally...

What your missing is the state of Cuba currently. When the borders open its going to bring in much needed capital influx. Its not just cuban cars that are from the 50's the entire infrastructure of driving is from the 50's right down to the gas stations.

Its actually more like a blank canvas then the entrenched monolith that the states are...
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 05:23 PM
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They have electricity in Cuba, plenty of sun and a more then friendly relationship with China who basically has a monopoly on solar panel construction globally...

What your missing is the state of Cuba currently. When the borders open its going to bring in much needed capital influx. Its not just cuban cars that are from the 50's the entire infrastructure of driving is from the 50's right down to the gas stations.

Its actually more like a blank canvas then the entrenched monolith that the states are...
I suppose thinking of it as a blank canvas does make it seem as though there is a lot of opportunity. I still think that EVs would be way too expensive to get a foothold in Cuba right now. If people had the money to buy EVs then I could see Cuba being a great experiment in making EVs the norm instead of the exception.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 06:13 PM
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what's funny is when you try to look for current EV charging stations in Cuba, nothing comes up.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-19-2015, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by volta View Post
I suppose thinking of it as a blank canvas does make it seem as though there is a lot of opportunity. I still think that EVs would be way too expensive to get a foothold in Cuba right now. If people had the money to buy EVs then I could see Cuba being a great experiment in making EVs the norm instead of the exception.
They're not for Cuban people but tourists to start. Once the borders open the idea is that cuban wages/fortunes will rise as well because of the new found flood of tourism.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-19-2015, 02:56 PM
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They're not for Cuban people but tourists to start. Once the borders open the idea is that cuban wages/fortunes will rise as well because of the new found flood of tourism.
So you think that they are going to open some rental car companies that offer EVs to drive around?

I don't really see how having EVs available in Cuba would make more tourists come, and I also don't know if people who rent cars would really care if its electric or gas powered. EVs are an investment in the lower running costs over time. If you only have the car for a week then you don't really care much about that stuff.

Maybe I'm not quite understanding what you are getting at though.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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So you think that they are going to open some rental car companies that offer EVs to drive around?

I don't really see how having EVs available in Cuba would make more tourists come, and I also don't know if people who rent cars would really care if its electric or gas powered. EVs are an investment in the lower running costs over time. If you only have the car for a week then you don't really care much about that stuff.

Maybe I'm not quite understanding what you are getting at though.
I know you're smarter then that.

The EV's aren't to ATTRACT tourists, they're to service tourists. The American population represents $51 Billion in just year end holiday travel spending, which Cuba currently commands none of. With the boarders opening up they are now in line for several things to potentially happen. US dollars become a welcome sight in Cuba, the Cuban currently becomes internationally traded and more viable which in turn increases purchasing power and export potential and lastly the influx of tourist dollars from the physically close Americans has the potential to attract BILLIONS in foreign investment as everyone and their mum is looking to pick up a buck or two.

As you said EV's are an investment in lower operating costs over a long period of time, that is all the more conducive to the rental model. Lower operating and maintenance costs, quick turnover of clientèle who are not travelling far nor care about aesthetic of their rental vehicle.

You're just thinking about it backwards.
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