9 Mar 20

Brazil kicks off 2020 in EV mode

The sale of new hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) in Latin America’s largest automobile parc, Brazil, is now averaging approximately 2,000 units per month, achieving 1% or more of new vehicles sold for the first time in the country.

While the leading brand in 1Q20 is Toyota, other brands doing well are Volvo, BMW and Renault. Meanwhile, several new models are expected to be launched in 2020 so expect the number of EVs on streets to rise even more.

2020 Toyota RAV4 hybrid, Brazil's best-selling electricfied vehicle in January (source: Toyota)

In this feature, Fleet LatAm highlights automobile electrification in Brazil, something that could be easier to accomplish with both public and private will.

In mid-January, Brazil’s constitution and justice commission CCJ approved a bill aimed at prohibiting the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars in the country as of January 2030. Thus, only electric vehicles and those that run on bio energy such as ethanol would be permitted.

The bill also includes the prohibition of all petrol and diesel-powered vehicles on roads starting in 2040. Keep in mind that it is yet to be approved as law.

To support with regional coverage, the São Paulo unit of Portugal-based electric energy company EDP is currently installing 30 rapid EV chargers along São Paulo state highways, complimenting an existing network of 34 charge points spread throughout the neighboring states of Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Paraná.

Giving motorist 2,500km of driving range in the region, the EDP project is one of 30 proposals under the 464mn-real (US$103mn) Efficient Electric Mobility Solutions program put together by Brazil’s electric energy regulator Aneel.

Up North, President Jair Bolsonaro is currently visiting the United States and one of the subjects of discussion will be the possibility of having a Tesla motors factory in the country. He is scheduled to wrap up his visit by 10 March.

Brazilian officials and the automaker are discussing the matter and next steps could include preparing measures to facilitate business such as special financing and tax credits for the EV industry and possibly legislative changes aimed at helping the market such as the aforementioned bill.

Meanwhile, the public sector is receiving support from the private sector through initiatives aimed at improving the country’s electric recharging infrastructure, especially in the south and southeast of the country.

For one, Audi announced in February that it would be investing 10 million reais to roll out 200 electric car charging stations across the country in the next couple of years. Being done in partnership with local utility Engie Brasil Energia, the 22kW recharges are said to be fire, shock and weather-proof.

BMW has also started 2020 with at least 180 EV charging stations and Volvo Car with approximately 250. Both intend to continue growing their networks, with the latter expected to reach 500 by December.

BMW EV recharging station in Brazil (source: BMW)

Among the electrified models available in Brazil are hybrids by Toyota, Volvo, Lexus and Volkswagen, as well as full electrics by BMW, Nissan, Chevrolet, Renault and Audi. Overall, the country has approximatly 20,000 EVs on roads, a mear fraction of the national fleet but numbers are growing incrementally. 

Authored by: Daniel Bland