Florida company gets OK to ship electric cars to Cuba

Florida company gets OK to ship electric cars to Cuba
© Getty Images

A Miami-based auto company has received the green light to ship American-made electric cars to Cuba, following an effort by former President Obama to restore diplomatic relations with the island nation.

Premier Automotive Export, which is a subsidiary of an auto dealer headquartered in Cayman Islands, received a four-year license this month from the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security to ship electrified vehicles and charging stations to Cuba, according to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council.

The cars can’t be sold to any Cuban government-operated entities, but can be sent to embassies, private enterprises and U.S. businesses on the island.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cuba has still not authorized American companies to directly export products to non-Cuban government-operated entities, even though the U.S. has, the council noted.

Meanwhile, it’s unclear whether President Trump, who threatened to reverse the opening of relations with Cuba if the communist government doesn’t adopt changes, has plans to change U.S. policy towards Cuba.

“I have to follow up with you. We've got nothing that we're ready to announce at this point,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer when recently pressed on the issue.

Premier Automotive Export plans to ship Nissan Leaf electric cars and install 50 charging locations in gas stations across Havana.

Some of the American companies operating in Cuba are Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, JetBlue and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.

“Electric vehicles will be used by the various embassies as their official government vehicle. Premier Automotive Export is seeking a U.S. Export License to ship 100 percent electric vehicles and charge stations to Cuba,” the company said in its application. “This new business will not only benefit the Cuban people by reducing the country's carbon footprint, but also by creating jobs and having a positive effect of our economy.”

The license only allows the Cayman auto dealer to ship cars through its U.S.-based subsidiary in Florida and stipulates that ownership of the cars cannot be transferred.