17 Jan 23

Latam's second largest market sees EV footprint rising

Approximately 8% of the light passenger vehicles being sold in Latin America’s second largest vehicle market Mexico is an electrified vehicle (EV), meaning BEV, PHEV, or mild hybrid.

According to the country’s automotive industry association AMIA, some 1.09 million new vehicles were registered in 2022 (up 7% year-over-year). Of this, approximately 47,400 were EVs (4%) if considering the 3,950 per month average seen in the first 10 months of the year. This represents a 22% uptick from 2021. 

However, as only about half of the 1.09 vehicles are light passenger vehicles, the EV market share doubles to 8% when disconsidering the others. And as a vast majority of the EVs are mild hybrids, the market share of full-electrics is 1%.    

The main automakers offering EVs in the country are Audi, BMW, BYD, Ford, General Motors (mainly Chevrolet), Hyundai, JAC, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mini, Renault, Tesla, Toyota, and Volvo.

Only five of these brands, however, are producing EVs in the country, being Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, and JAC, local news service Portal Movilidad reported, mentioning other smaller local EV producers such as Link, Zacua, LM&TH, Evolte and Iusa.

Regulation Still Nascent

Private companies in Mexico can sell energy to EVs and there is no standardization for chargers or regulation around prices, according to the report.

Things should be changing in the coming years, however. Considering the National Strategy for Electric Mobility (ENME), a firmer set of regulations and standardization should be defined by 2030 and a public charger system for vehicles on highways as well as in cities should occur shortly thereafter.

Charging Infrastructure taking form

Mexico now boasts more than 2,000 charge points, in-line with the largest vehicle market in Latin America (Brazil) which has 2,800 public and semi-public charge points, according to Wikifleet Mexico and Brazil.

This is thanks to Tesla as it leads the market in Mexico with 1,100 charging points, mainly SAEJ 17724 type connectors but a few Supercharger connectors are also installed in the central parts of the country (see below).  Approximately half of the chargers are located in the states of Mexico City, Mexico, Nuevo León and Jalisco, mainly the first.

Tesla is also said to be planning the construction of a multi-billion dollar EV factory in the country. More news to come shortly.

Tesla Supercharger network in Mexico, just a few of the 40,000+ Superchargers worldwide  (source: Tesla)

Down South

While Brazil, Chile Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, and Uruguay are offering at least 15 EV brands in their countries, Argentina, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Paraguay are lacking a bit with less than 10 main brands being offered in their markets. 

Besides Mexico, Latin America boasts two other vehicle producers, being Argentina and Brazil. While Chery is currently readying new production facilities in Argentina, Great Wall Motors and the Bravo Motor Company are both preparing multi-billion-dollar factories in Brazil.

For more on vehicle markets around the world, attend the 2023 Global Fleet Conference taking place 15-17 May. Entitled Sustainable Procurement, the event will take place in the coastal city of Cascais in Portugal. For more information and registration, click here.

Authored by: Daniel Bland