The Growth Of The Electric Car Markets In Latin American Cities

Electric Cars in Latin America. (Evo Morales/Twitter image)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Sept. 29, 2021: As the world edges towards a crisis, namely global warming and climate change, we must take actions now, before it’s too late. As common people, there isn’t a whole lot we can do except switching our lifestyles. However, one way we can contribute is by bidding farewell to gasoline and diesel cars and adapting to electric vehicles. So, next time when you try to look for a new car on CarIndigo, make sure it does not pollute the environment.

Electric cars do make a massive impact, as a huge amount of the total greenhouse gases released into the air actually comes from emissions from vehicles. Countries like the United States are doing their best to make sure that all new cars sold are electric within the next decade or so. They are also passing laws. However, the entire world needs to adapt to this change. As such, the EV market is slowly but surely growing and improving with time in the Latin American countries as well.

But just transforming the entire fleet of cars on the street to electric won’t actually be feasible, if the government does not meet the required infrastructure. A huge amount of money and labor has to be invested in order to install more charging stations, encouraging companies to create vehicles with longer range and less battery drain, faster charging and lastly, they must also be actually affordable for the average Joe. If these changes are not made, the dream of electricity powering all of our vehicles will be just a dream.

Also, just producing electric cars won’t help, if the electricity required to run them comes from coal and other sources of fossil fuel. Sure, there are zero emissions on the street, but the total emission is still far from “zero”. Infrastructure must also allow the countries to use renewable sources of energy, such as windmills, hydro-electricity, nuclear power plants, and solar panels. This is the biggest benefit of electricity, that it can actually be produced and used without any “emission”. This is where Latin America shines since it actually produces 60% of their total electricity demand from large-scale hydroelectric power dams and hydro-electricity. No matter how you spin it, that is a bigger advantage and lays the groundwork for more EVs in the future.

Studies show that in Latin America, a total of 37% of their emissions are a result of the cars and vehicles used on the road. 27% of that comes from people who own a private car. This might not be a huge number, but it still is way more effective in actually harming the climate. This means that if there were more EVs on the road, there would be a sizable and noticeable change in the quality of air and would also result in fewer deaths. A statistic shows that around 50,000 premature deaths occur in the Latin Americas due to emissions from vehicles. It cannot be ignored any longer and EVs would definitely spin this stat around.

The center of attraction in the growth and flourishment of EVs in Latin America can be attributed to three major cities – the capital of Columbia, Bogota; the capital of Mexico, Mexico City; and the capital of Chile, Santiago.

Starting off with Bogota, air pollution is an undeniable factor in the way the city is rapidly evolving. In order to cut down on pollution and secure a safer future, the government has made a few tweaks to encourage EVs. Firstly, public-private partnerships can now build EV chargers; the EVs will have priority in parking; and, they would also not stick to any speed limit.

Mexico City’s air quality is also drastically reducing with each passing year, and that is to be expected since it is one of the densest cities in the world. As people start owning more and more private cars, that causes more problems for the environment. They are constantly working to offer incentives for EVs and they even have a separate lane for EVs. The country itself is taking major strides forward when it comes to manufacturing EVs.

Chile is a country that is not blessed with a lot of natural resources and hence, they have to import 95% of all the fossil fuels they use. As expected, they are not the ones sitting around and not encouraging EVs. Instead, they are actually offering incentives for people who buy EVs and also offer a significant tax reduction. However, the tax that they do receive from regular cars is actually used for EV infrastructure. That is a great move.

So, in order to become a fully electric vehicle city, you first need to build the infrastructure that allows the use of EVs. The government is responsible for this, and since they alone might be able to do it, they need to partner with other private companies. That is exactly what these three cities are doing actively and promoting charging stations in gas stations, restaurants, shopping malls, hotels, etc. Building chargers is the first and foremost step forward for the future of EVs. No one wants to be deserted in the middle of the road when their battery runs down.

Countries such as Mexico and Columbia actually do not charge any import taxes on EVs. This means that people can buy an EV at the regular price, without any extra charges. This makes EVs hugely accessible, since not every person can afford an EV. EVs are expensive and in order to encourage more people to buy, the government reduces import taxes, offers green taxes and other reductions. If people can’t even afford the vehicle, there is no point in building infrastructure.

Also, in order to cut down the cost of vehicles, the government can encourage the development of EVs locally. If any country is a global manufacturing hub, then they will not only reduce the cost for locals but also encourage the global market and allow the country to make some cash. Chile actually has large amounts of lithium, copper, and cobalt, which is mandatory for EV battery manufacturing. Allowing access to these reserves and encouraging local production will play a major role in the development of EVs in Latin America.