US to Panama in a Tesla S

The Tesla model S seems to be the serious electric car these days. But, would driving a car you need to plug in make any sense here? More than I would expect.

Two guys decided to drive a Tesla from the US to Panama. An article in EV World talks a bit about their trip so far including an interview with them in Managua.

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I've Always Thought

that electric cars would work well here.

1. Cars are already smaller;

2. Distances are considerably less than what we are used to in US and Canada;

3. Government has ability to make unilateral decisions as to import tax exemption and other incentives.

4. Long term, it would help clear up the air as the power is going more and more renewable.

Of all of these, number three would open the door the widest . . .. does anyone have the direct line to La Chamu?


What I would like to see are electric mototaxis to replace the gas-powered jobs here which stink and make a dreadful noise. The centre of Diriamba has become unlivable because of their racket.

Also, it might be cost-effective to import the parts for electric mototaxis and assemble them here in backyard tallers, thus creating jobs for Nicaraguans who would like to work for a living. There are lots of tallers in Managua that put together scooters from assembled parts.

Maybe this would be a good project for NGOs. In order to minimize Nicaragua's carbon footprint, environmentalist NGOs could provide the seed money, operating costs and ongoing subsidies, and outfits like Kiva could provide low-interest loans to buyers.

Perhaps one day the government could provide free electric mototaxis to frequent voters just as it does now with zinc roofing sheets and propane two-burners; which the voters could then sell to pay for liquor, drugs and whores to people who would actually put these things to use, thus perpetuating a time-honoured institution of Nicaraguan-style democracy.

Alternatively, what about biodiesel-powered mototaxis, which are also more quiet and less polluting? The feedstock for the biodiesel could be provided by operations like TipTop, which generate large amounts of grease.

The roadblock

Cost is the primary factor. Even if La Chamu unilaterally made it tax-free to import, Nicas wouldn't benefit from the $7500 tax credit that USanos get in the US.

For example, the Nissan Leaf is something like $29k base. So, it's a great alternative to hybrids, because they're already expensive. It'll never beat the little 3-cylinder "trucks" struggling up the hills of Esteli, though!

Well, electrics won't beat them until the price comes down, anyway. I totally agree about the country being small and dense enough on the West to be perfect for electric vehicles.

Fix them?

And who is gojng to fix them? The Honda and Toyota dealerships here in MGA have recently come out and stated they no longer wish to work on American made Toyota/Honda vehicles!! Says it takes to much time to cross-reference the parts!!


Does this have anything to do with the US not using the metric system so the cars have different parts, require different tool sizes...?

US cars have had metric parts

since at least the 80s, in part because many of the components are foreign made.

``Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher

Dont think so!!

Was explained to my wife--who is fluent in Spanish by 1 of the managers at the Honda dealership here in MGA that it takes to long to cross reference the parts, and that the car owners were complaining that it takes them too long!! They will work on some--on a case by case basis! But have had a few friends have the same problem at the two big Toyota dealerships here with their American Toyotas--sorry don't work on American made Toyota's!

This hasn't been the case, when we arrived here in Aug 2011--Both Toyota and Honda had no issues!!

And on a side note----I have a 2007 L200 Diesel Mitsubishi Truck (not 4x4) great AC, am/fm CD stereo, 4 doors for sale. very good condition, less than 76000 miles(mostly highway from previous owner) on it. New tires, battery. Extra set of tires with decent tread still left and an extra battery that is 2 yrs old! All yours for only $8900--taxes all paid! DIP plates not included,lol

Thats the beauty of it....

Young smart Nicas can be trained from the get go to be electric car mechanics.

Its nothing new. In 1973 I had an interview with the largest dairy in my area for an apprenticeship working on "battery powered electric milk floats"

The electric vehicles

The electric vehicles (non-hybrid) are actually much easier to repair, there are way fewer moving parts and are great for hills as they are all torque. We have been driving hybrid since they came out and have been very pleased. We will stick with them until either our commute lessens or the range on the full EV gets longer. Saw an interesting story for urban areas to get people into EVs here.

electric 4x4

I don't think I would shovel out the money for an electric car here. Just look at what happens to small cars after a year or two on the roads. I think I will wait for the electric truck

1st Capt. Ron

(Title by Miskito Alan)