The first Tesla Model Y electric car authorized by license from the Joe Biden Administration has arrived in Cuba this week after being acquired by a Cuban citizen.
According to the Cuba-US Economic and Trade Council, the vehicle was shipped on November 22 from Port Everglades, Florida to the port of Mariel in Cuba on a Crowley Shipping vessel. The car, worth $38,850, is set to be delivered to a private residence in Havana.
The Tesla Model Y, a 2021 sport utility vehicle with four doors, all-wheel drive, and a range of 317 miles on a full charge, represents the first delivery of a vehicle manufactured by Tesla, Inc. to Cuba.
John Felder, founder and CEO of Premier Automotive Export, Ltd., held a public event in Havana to present an audiovisual about his work to become the first recipient of a license from the United States Government to sell electric vehicles to Cuba. The Tesla recently acquired by a Cuban citizen was also exhibited at the event.
Despite the economic crisis in Cuba, luxury cars have become increasingly common on Cuban streets. The presence of the Tesla on the island’s roads was noted by the Facebook group “Diplomatic Cars in Cuba” at the end of October.
The Biden Administration approved a license, valid until 2026, to export electric vehicles and chargers to Cuba intended for private companies owned by Cuban nationals. This permit carries the warning that the vehicles “must be used to satisfy the needs of the Cuban people” and that their “resale to the Cuban Government or Cuban Government officials” or their re-export is prohibited.
In September, Washington issued a license for the export of electric scooters and electric bicycles to Cuban nationals and Micro, Small or Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).