Electric motorcycles flood Havana amid diesel shortages – The Manila Times

A laptop reads the voltage of an electric scooter after it was used at a gathering in the capital for stunts and races in Cojimar, Cuba, Friday, July 15, 2022. AP PHOTO

A laptop reads the voltage of an electric scooter after it was used at a gathering in the capital for stunts and races in Cojimar, Cuba, Friday, July 15, 2022. AP PHOTO

HAVANA: The young people come plus go on their electric motorcycles at this highway outside Cuba’s capital where they perform stunts and talk about their two-wheelers, which would be largely silent if it weren’t for the music blasting from speakers.

Cuba has been flooded in recent years with “motorinas, ” as the electrical scooters are called on the island, which have been promoted by the government as efficient alternatives amid extreme gas plus diesel disadvantages, and as a solution to the country’s transportation problems.

Authorities permitted their importation last decade – Cubans cannot import motorcycles with gasoline or diesel engines – and since then about 300, 000 of them have circulated on the particular island, said Col. Mario Ríos Labrada, head of vehicle registry at the National Transit Directorate. In comparison there are an estimated 500, 000 cars.

The particular motorcycles can cost between $2, 000 and $5, 500. Many originate in China and are usually imported in order to Cuba through Panama. Cuban officials say a locally made electric powered motorcycle called the “Minerva” is being produced in an old bicycle manufacturing warehouse in Villa Clara.

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“There is an ‘outbreak’ associated with electric motorbikes, everyone likes them, inch said Ernesto José Salazar, 20, who works within a paint shop. “We got to meet up with 200 motorcycles, honking and listening to songs. ”

Young riders organize through social networks and spend hours discussing the benefits of a battery or where in order to buy tires or find the best workshop.

“Fuel is a lost cause, you have to look for it and queue up, right now having an electric motorcycle here is life itself, inches said Alejandro Vasallo, 23.

Cuban drivers face shortages of fuel, especially diesel powered, which is also used to power the particular electricity generators that feed the nation’s power grid, which collapsed this summer. Oil shortages have been caused by difficulties inside Venezuela – an ally and supplier of the island – plus US sanctions.

People watch a drag race between two electric scooterists at a late afternoon gathering of electric motorbike owners to show off stunts and races in Havana, Cuba, Friday, July 15, 2022. AP PHOTO

People watch the drag race between two electric scooterists at a late afternoon gathering of electric powered motorbike owners to show off stunts and races in Havana, Cuba, Friday, This summer 15, 2022. AP PICTURE

Electric scooter motorists recharge the batteries via normal power sockets and are out of luck when the supply goes down.

Authorities within Cuba promote electric motor bikes as energy efficient and because an alternative in order to a public transportation system plagued disadvantages of parts to repair broken down buses and a lack gas.

“Electricity will always end up being cheaper than diesel energy and gas, and in addition, electric motors are much more efficient than combustion engines, you can save up to 70% of the cost of gasoline, ” Ramsés Montes Calzadilla, strategy director from the Ministry of Energy plus Mines, stated in an interview with information website Cubadebate.

Electrical motorcycles are usually changing the particular urban landscape in Cuba and also creating challenges: the batteries tend to catch fire and their relative silence accompanied by driver inexperience is causing traffic accidents.

The latest figures available from the Fire Department indicated that in the first half associated with 2020 there were 263 fires through motorcycles along with gel or even lithium batteries, a notable increase compared to 208 for the entire year 2019.

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