Aruba is seeking to become the first nation in the world to produce zero emissions. Its first step is converting its public transportation fleet to electric power.

Aruba’s Prime Minister Mike Eman, Minister of Finance Mike de Meza, and Frank Hoevertsz, the Managing-Director of Utilities Aruba N.V., signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with BYD America’s president, Stella Li. The MOU outlines Aruba’s plans to be the first Nation with a completely zero-carbon footprint and energy independence with only clean sustainable renewable power sources.

The four major objectives in the MOU included electrifying all public transportation (with zero- emissions vehicles), substantially increasing renewable energy generation (both solar and wind), making those resources available upon demand with distributed, environmentally friendly, energy storage, and lastly a nation-wide plan for public re-education and sustainability programs in all schools. Through each of these, Aruba plans to use BYD green-technologies to pursue its goal of becoming an emissions-free Nation by the year 2020.

“We are excited about the MOU we are signing. This document signifies both parties interests and commitment to work together to introduce electric vehicles and green products in Aruba. In our transition phase towards 100 percent sustainability, BYD will support Aruba demonstrating how to convert all our vehicles, including cars, buses, taxis and all private and public vehicles into electrified transportation,” Eman said.

The first and most important of all these initiatives is the electrification of public transportation, according to the government. Aruba plans to place into service four BYD zero-emission, long-range all-electric buses and one BYD e6 electric taxi comprising a fleet for public/government use by September-end 2013. Energy generation and storage are the next areas of development that Aruba has committed to pursuing.