The first 2021 Tesla Model Y has arrived in Havana, Cuba, marking a significant milestone as the first vehicle of its type to be imported into the country. The import was made possible through the first license granted by the US government for the sale of electric vehicles in Cuba.
According to the economic information blog Cubatrade, the car cost $38,850 and is a long-range, 4-door, all-wheel drive (AWD) SUV with a range of 317 miles and a Tesla Gen 3 wall connector (208/240V).
Premier Automotive Export Ltd, based in Maryland, received the first Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) license, and the vehicle was transported from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Puerto del Mariel by Crowley Shipping.
The Tesla will be housed in a private residence in Havana, owned by a couple with dual residence in the United States and Cuba. The Cuban couple has become the owners of the first Tesla imported from US territory.
The vehicle was showcased at a private event at a restaurant owned by world high jump record holder, Javier Sotomayor. The event also featured the premiere of the documentary “Driving towards change,” which recounts the adventures of John Felder, founder and CEO of Premier Automotive Export, who managed to be the first beneficiary of a license from the US government to sell electric vehicles to Cuba.
Despite the sighting of at least two other Tesla cars in recent weeks, Cubatrade emphasizes that this purchase represented the first delivery of a vehicle manufactured by Tesla, Inc. from the United States to the Republic of Cuba, authorized by a license issued to Premier Automotive Export.
The importation of these cars to the island is subject to different tax rates based on the buyer’s status. If the buyer is a Micro, Small or Medium Enterprise (MSME), the tariff is 21%, but for a natural person, the tax amounts to 42%.
The presence of luxury cars on Cuban roads has been growing, with several high-end vehicles, including BMWs, Mercedes, Toyotas, Cadillacs, and Porsches, seen circulating on Cuban streets. The increased number of American-made vehicles in Cuba has sparked speculation regarding the country’s ongoing transportation and energy crisis.
In conclusion, the importation of the 2021 Tesla Model Y into Cuba marks a significant moment in the country’s automotive industry, as it represents the first electric vehicle of its kind to be imported from the United States. This development could potentially pave the way for further advancements in Cuba’s transportation and energy sector.