Electric Vehicles

Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Board Approves Purchase Of Tesla Electric Vehicles

The Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority approved a purchase contract for electric vehicles at a May 26 Board of Directors meeting.

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority will soon receive a fleet-upgrade of eight electric Tesla SUVs worth approximately $500,000, procured entirely through an Energizing Insular Communities grant of approximately $1 million from the Department of Interior.

Kyle Fleming, chairperson of the Authority’s Board, noted that other government agencies will be purchasing additional Teslas in the coming months with the Virgin Islands’ Energy Office being awarded a similar $1.2 million grant. 

According to Fleming, who is also the director of the Virgin Islands Energy Office, having electric vehicles is part of an overall strategy to transform the Authority away from fossil fuels. Both solar and wind power generation are already a part of the Authority’s current and future generation plans with the goal of eliminating, to the fullest extent possible, reliance on fossil fuel. 

He said the Virgin Islands has a natural advantage over many stateside utilities regarding its immediate ability to utilize electric vehicles.  Due to the relatively small size of the islands and the short distances driven, range anxiety, or the concern about running out of battery charge before being able to recharge, will not be a problem, according to the Authority.

Andrew Smith, the Authority’s CEO, noted that the approximately $500,000 remaining under the grant is earmarked for acquiring hybrid bucket trucks, and that the purchase process is well underway.

The American Public Power Association’s Public Power EV Activities Tracker summarizes key efforts undertaken by members — including incentives, electric vehicle deployment, charging infrastructure investments, rate design, pilot programs, and more. Click here for additional details.