Electric Mobility: How Is The Panorama In Latin America?

The transition to more environmentally friendly mobility is still a challenge for the region, but there are already several projects to achieve this goal .

Electric car

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LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez

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Leer en español: Movilidad eléctrica: ¿cómo está el panorama en Latinoamérica?

Electric mobility is one of the most important strategies of the so-called "clean energy", with which it is intended to maintain the current lifestyle of human beings, improving their relationship with the environment. 

Of course, transit is one of these needs, which is being covered by large companies that, in their commitment to the planet , have set themselves the goal of moving from fossil fuels to electricity.

According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) , more than 2.2 million electric cars were sold worldwide in 2019, that is, 2.5% of sales total number of vehicles on the entire planet. This number increased in 2020 to 3 million, being the only item in the car market that did not see a drop in sales. For 2021, the number increased by two, recording the sale of more than 6.6 million, which represents about 9% of the car fleet sold worldwide last year.

“We estimate that there are now around 16 million electric cars on the roads around the world (…) the equivalent of all the electricity generated in Ireland. Electric cars helped to avoid oil consumption and CO2 emissions in 2021”, explains the IEA in its study.

However, this reality, although positive, reflects only a very small part of the entire world According to the energy organization, China, Europe and the United States alone account for 90% of car sales worldwide.

You can also read: 99% of Humanity Breathes Polluted Air

In search of change in Latin America

Now, although the scene seems bleak in areas such as Africa, much of Asia and Latin America, the truth is that the latter has begun to realize that electric mobility is a great option to counteract the impact of the carbon footprint in their respective territories; although much remains to be done.

Currently, most Latin American countries have a significant fleet of electric buses, although this scenario is not seen in the same way in the purchase of "planet-friendly" private vehicles; especially due to the still scarce presence of infrastructure for charging these cars.

A report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) mentions that Colombia and Mexico are the two countries that have "the largest fleet of plug-in electric vehicles," although the figure, according to Statista, is not very encouraging. , since in all of Latin America, there was only a network of 1,292 stations for charging these vehicles in 2020; a figure that cannot fight against the 800,000 public access chargers that were registered only in China.

"The price premium associated with electric cars and the lack of charging infrastructure are the key reasons for the slow uptake," adds the IEA.

This has made the MOVE (mobility program for the care of the environment of the UN), ensure that "transport is the sector with the highest growth in CO2 emissions in Latin America", because although there are electric vehicles, the truth is that this figure does not even represent 1% of the region's total sales.

However, the good side of this situation is that this same entity has been in charge of providing current information on the pacts to which most of the countries in the region have agreed to reduce their environmental impact through the electrification of the transport.

According to the report "Zero Carbon: Latin America" by MOVE , there are several goals that are expected to be achieved in the medium and long term, such as the replacement of all Rapid Transit Bus (ATR) systems to electricity in 2025 , as well as obtaining a fleet of passenger vehicles that goes from 15% in 2025 to 100% in 2050.

In fact, such is the attention paid to this environmental need that the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has reported on cases of countries previously oblivious to this reality, such as Chile, which have promoted "reimbursement programs that reduce emissions by charging fees for inefficient technology and paying rebates for efficient vehicles.”

Meanwhile, others like Nicaragua have taken giant steps by assuming that electric mobility is a reality, incorporating it into their legislation. In the case of the country presided over by Daniel Ortega, the National Assembly was able to add this form of clean energy to its Energy Stability Law in February 2022. According to MOVE, this reform "will begin to be applied with tax benefits for the acquisition of vehicles for private use, collective transport, selective transport, ships and boats."

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