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28 Aug 19

Brazil awaits electric vehicle wave, executives bit hesitant - KPMG

Pushed by a wave of “green” awareness and a desire for new technologies, large investment in electric vehicles (EV) are occurring not only in the automobile industry, but from logistics, mobile app, and a variety of technological companies.

According to a 2018 Global EV Outlook study carried out by the International Energy Agency, worldwide sales of EVs jumped 54% year-over-year in 2017 to more than 1 million units and the growth has not really slowed down since.

Moreover, according to executives interviewed for the 2019 edition of the Global Automotive Executive Survey (GAES) organized by International consultancy firm KMPG, electric cars are seen representing approximately 70% of the entire global fleet by 2030. 
However, according to the survey results, executives in Brazil are a bit hesitant for now while most consumers are ready for the change.

Below are some of the takeaways from the survey as presented by KPMG relationship director for the automotive in Brazil, Ricardo Bacellar, who spoke during an industry meeting put together by Brazil’s Instituto PARAR in July.

Ricardo Bacellar (source: KPMG)


GAES - Brazil Chapter

While three in four consumers in Brazil are interested in buying an electric or hybrid vehicle within the next five years, less than half of the executives in the country are seeking these types of cars, according to the study.

Approximately 56.3% of the executives questioned in the study stated that internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are the priority, meaning those that run on gasoline, ethanol, diesel, or natural gas. At the same time 23.7% of consumers were said to be seeking ICE vehicles.

Meanwhile, regarding hybrid vehicles (those using both ICE and an electric motor), approximately 17.6% of executives prefer this option while 16.4% of consumers do. For plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) in which both powertrains can transmit power to the drive wheels, executives and consumers preferred them 7.81% and 11.3%, respectively.


2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid flex-fuel, first of its kind to be launched in 2019 (source: Toyota)

As for battery powered electric vehicles with a range extender (where ICE is used as a generator and only the electric motor transmits power to the drive wheels), about 2.34% of executives prefer this option and 8.76% of consumers.

At the same time, battery-only electric vehicles which use energy stored in rechargeable batteries were favored by only 3.91% of executives and four times more for consumers (11.9%), Mr. Bacellar explained during his presentation.

The study also addressed less common power trains such as hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (powered by air oxygen and compressed hydrogen) of which 3.13% of executives and 16.0% of consumers preferred.

Finally, regarding electric vehicles with ethanol fuel cell (powered by air oxygen and ethanol), the comparison was 8.70% executives and 12.0% consumers, the survey results said.

In the end, despite the differences of opinions on how fast electrification will be hitting Latin America, one thing for sure is that much of it will be starting in Brazil. “Considering the economic force in the country, if it’s not happening in Brazil, it is unlikely to be happening in other countries in Latin America,” Mr. Bacellar told Fleet Latam on the sidelines of the event.

Composed of 207,000 professionals in 153 countries and territories, KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services for several industries.

To read more on Mr. Bacellar's comments on vehicle fleet in the region along with many other experts, register to receive a copy of the fourth edition of the Fleet LatAm magazine to be focused on Safety and Telematics. It will be launched in mid-September just ahead of the Fleet LatAm Conference & Training taking place in Mexico City 23-25 September.
Authored by: Daniel Bland