Fleet LatAm Business Networking Group: Keys to EV growth in Latin America
The Business Networking Group (BNG) of Fleet LatAm kicked off 2021 with its first meeting of the year on Tuesday (12 January), focusing on the challenges and opportunities of increasing the number of electric vehicles (EV) and charging facilities in Latin America.
Aggressive commitments by fleets are being made to wean themselves off internal combustion engines, some of which include plans to go 100% electric by as early as 2030.
“Tax incentives aimed at buying EVs have been put in place throughout the region, particularly in Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador and Costa Rica, and all countries are moving progressively to support EV and Hybrid implementation," says BNG president Pascal Serres.
BNG president Pascal Serres (source: Fleet LatAm)
Although company’s in Mexico are among those taking larger strides in terms of EV implementation in the region, panel discussions this time around were focused on pushing EV transition in South America, especially in the more EV progressive countries of Colombia and Chile.
Moderated by Mr. Serres, joining the talks were Geotab business development manager (Latam government) Pedro Giraldo, the telematics firm's partner and manager (Chile and Peru) Jose Ignacio Guerra, and Transfondo CEO (Colombia) Andres Jaramillo who specializes in electric mobility asset management.
Among the lessons learned from the discussions are that telematics is key to the success of the EV transition in the region and that concise and robust EV policies are needed, starting with the push by governments for the electrification of public transportation.
With telematics, you can get answers to key questions, according to the Geotab executives. Among them are:
- Which vehicles make sense to switch to electric?
- How do I know I can run my routes with an EV?
- Can I afford an EV as a replacement option?
- What are the TCO savings of the switch to EV?
“In Colombia, electrified vehicles sales in 2020 jumped 91.8% year-over-year to 6,011 units,” said Mr. Jaramillo, highlighting that these vehicles represented 3.19% of new vehicle sales that year.
While hybrid EV sales increased 139%, battery EV sales rose 43.1%, and plug-in EVs were up 4%, according to the executive who quoted numbers from the country’s sustainable mobility association Andemos.
Another issue brought up during the meeting which supports this transition is that EV battery life expectancies are increasing, giving a positive spin on depreciation calculations and the residual values of fleet vehicles.
Challenges do remain though. Besides difficulties in estimating residual values owing to the infancy of the EV market, recharging infrastructure still lacks in many countries. Even a simple home charging unit is not as popular in most Latin American cities as you may see in other countries. “In addition to infrastructure not yet being up to par, the cars being offered in the region are still expensive,” added Mr. Serres. These challenges, however, will gradually be overcome with time as the EV transition in the region continues.
Fleet LatAm meeting in Mexico City (September 2019). We are looking forward to having another live meeting soon! (source: Fleet LatAm)
Other speakers at the meeting meeting were Targa Telematics head of Business (Latam) Paulo Akira Yauso and ALD Automotive Sales Director (Latam) Sergio Lecue, both of which highlighted the innovative fleet management and mobility solutions being offered by their respective companies.
Mr. Serres also updated attendees on 2021 events. Among them is a Fleet LatAm webinar scheduled for 10 February in partnership with Targa Telematics entitled “How Targa Telematics helps co-create new and customer-friendly mobility solutions in Latin America”.
Meanwhile, two Fleet LatAm Conferences are scheduled this year. The first (22 April) will be a virtual experience entitled “Driving Fleet Efficiencies and Cost Savings in Latin America”. The second is scheduled for 20-21 September. More information will be available in the coming months.
Last but not least, make sure to attend our next BNG meeting taking place 16 March online. We look forward to seeing you!
The Fleet LatAm Business Networking Group is aimed at sharing know-how, providing expertise, supporting business development, and internationalising the fleet and mobility markets throughout Latin America. For more information or if you are interested in collaborating with us, contact Pascal Serres at email@example.com