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St. Thomas Auto Dealer Wants ‘Green’ Car Owners To Pay Less Than $35K For New Batteries

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The world’s largest electric vehicle maker apparently wants its environmentally-committed customers to just throw its LEAF battery pack replacements away when they don’t work.

But one St. Thomas automobile dealer is trying to do something about that.

Nissan green car batteries cost conservationists a whopping $35,000 each!

Adrien E. Austin owns the Nissan dealership at 10 Estate St. Thomas in Charlotte Amalie. He thinks it is unconscionable that Nissan, now in partnership with Ford, is asking his U.S. Virgin Islands customers to pay $35,636.36 for a replacement battery.

“I’m a local business owner in St. Thomas,” Austin said. “Born and raised here. I’m an entrepreneur, local economist, and community leader. I’ve begun and born the burden of education here in the VI regarding EVs. I started the only EV dealership so as to provide the support my community members need to try to invest in new technology.”

Austin said his conscience is informed by the devastation — emotional, financial and physical — that the territory has endured after surviving two catacylsmic hurricanes back-to-back in September 2017.

“We’ve been hit by the strongest storms – Irma and Maria – in recorded history in 2017 and are still recovering,” he said. “We were out of power for 6 months, longer than Puerto Rico.  Transporting energy to areas in need with EVs was a very clever solution for me and my staff using inverters of the 12V system to keep food cold and provide supplies for children and those in need. We are one-third in poverty so the struggle is very real after a natural disaster.”

The St. Thomas auto dealer said he has been impressed with Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. so far.

“In a 13-mile island, there is zero range anxiety,” Austin said. “EVs provide savings, safety, and longevity. We have a new governor, one talking about EVs for all government officials. The cost to operate ICE vehicles here is higher than anywhere in the world due to shipping and wear and tear. Therefore EVs offer the highest savings per miles saved! Especially with solar power!”

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VI Free Press

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