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Building blocks to achieving a green fleet in Latin America

The future of Latin America’s mobility is becoming greener, according to experts in the region who detailed the building blocks of making the sustainable transition toward electric vehicles (EV) during the last Fleet LatAm Expert Meeting on Thursday (20 April).

In 2022, approximately 4% of the car sales in Latin America were electrified, led by countries such as Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil, according to Fleet LatAm Editor Daniel Bland (pictured left), explaining that this includes traditional hybrids, plug-in hybrids (PHEV), and 100% battery electric vehicles (BEV).

“Considering 2022 EV sales in the two largest markets, Brazil saw a 41% increase and Mexico saw a 22% increase year-over-year,” says Mr. Bland.

After carrying out an assessment of the EV models available in countries, putting together your Green Fleet program requires objectives such as lowering CO2 emissions, reducing fuel usage with tools such as fuel cards, and optimizing your vehicle ordering and delivering processes, according to fleet manager Rodrigo Monroy.

“Moreover, make sure you are engaging well by creating strategic alliances with OEMs [vehicle manufacturers], EV charging companies, and other suppliers,” says Mr. Monroy (pictured right) who is Fleet Category Manager in Latin America for pharmaceutical company Novartis and Fleet LatAm Vice Chairman.

To accomplish your EV transition in Latin America, multinational companies such as IoT hub and telematics firm Geotab and EV charging company Blink are available to help you along the way. 

For one, “Geotab provides local market EV availability lists to help you find the most efficient vehicle for your fleet, supported by detailed analyses to assure vehicle range, cost efficiency, and optimize total cost of ownership (TCO),” says Geotab Latin America business development manager and sustainability leader Pedro Giraldo (pictured left).

As EV charging management is also crucial, EV infrastructure planning for fleets at multiple sites is provided by Geotab as well as Blink. As for the latter, the electric charging equipment company offers AC chargers up to 50 amps (12kW) and faster DC chargers handling 30kW-260kW.

“Owing to the many different vehicle manufacturers doing business in Latin America, it is a complex region with many different chargers and connector requirements,” says Blink Latam development manager Patricia Baires (pictured right), highlighting the J1772 connector and the newer type 2 connector offered by the company.

Besides providing equipment, Blink has proprietary software to optimize EV charging operations, intelligent management for public service charging of multiple vehicles, and infrastructure implementation planning which includes engineering designs, energy management, software, and 24/7 equipment installation, monitoring, and maintenance.

The Expert Meeting was wrapped up with a panel discussion moderated by Fleet LatAm Chairman Pascal Serres (pictured below). Among other things, participants gave an idea of what they see for the future of sustainability in Latin America.

“I see more supply and variety in the EV market, so more trucks and SUVs around the corner, and with less difference in prices compared to other types of vehicles,” says Karla Beltran (pictured left) who is IP Sourcing Manager for Fleet in North America for energy company Schneider Electric.

However, this cannot be done by private sector effort alone. We will need more government incentive to make the migration quicker, added Ms. Beltran.

“I see a very green and very electric future, but it will require a lot of work. In addition to public and private sector efforts, we need to increase the overall awareness of a green future to society,” says Manuel Tamayo who heads Element Fleet Management in Mexico

For fleet and mobility managers, rely on the experts, the experience they bring, and the data they gather. Finally, remember that we need to start now but develop the right strategy as there is not a one-for-all solution, Mr. Tamayo added (pictured right).

“Electromobility has already arrived in Latin America. Although we originally thought the transition would be slower, it is starting to speed up now. We still need to take it step-by-step by educating the market in spaces such as this Expert Meeting,” added Ms. Baires.

In the end, remember that by educating society and sharing experiences with colleagues in both the public and private sectors, we can shorten the time to achieving a more sustainable future.

Also present to help moderate the Fleet LatAm Expert Meeting were Fleet LatAm Chairman Pascal Serres and Global Fleet Editor in Chief Steven Schoefs.

Join us during our next talk on fleet and mobility at the 2023 Global Fleet Conference in Portugal. Taking place along the coastal region of Cascais in Lisbon from 15-17 May, a special session on Latin America is scheduled on 15 May with Fleet LatAm Advisory board members.

Authored by: Daniel Bland