Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Costa Rica Plans For Sustainable EV Future

(FORBES) Up until now, plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) have been about as popular as snowshoes in Latin America due to the higher cost of the vehicles and lack of governmental focus on reducing transportation carbon emissions.

However, in Costa Rica, government agencies are developing policies and infrastructure to lure automakers to send PEVs and to get consumers excited about the technology.

A Small but Ambitious Market

Costa Rica may not seem like the ideal location to grow a PEV market. The country has a gross national income per capita of just over $10,000 per year (as of 2015, per World Bank statistics), whereas most PEVs cost north of $40,000 and would be out of realistic reach for most consumers. The vehicle market is also small (just 154,000 vehicles sold annually), so it is not a top priority market for automakers to support PEV sales.

- paying the bills -

Nevertheless, with tourism to its sandy beaches and internationally renowned rain forest contributing 5% of Costa Rica’s gross domestic product, the government wants the country to project an eco-friendly image and participate in global efforts to combat climate change.

The country has set a goal of getting 37,000 PEVs on the road by 2022. On December 15, 2017, Costa Rica passed its first incentives for EV purchases, which include exemptions on the sales, consumption, and customs import taxes. According to a report from Nacion.com, this would reduce the final cost of a PEV by about 24%.
Growing Support for PEVs

Federal organizations in Costa Rica are also planning support for PEVs. The state-run utility led by Grupo ICE and Costa Rica’s integrated ministry of energy and environment (MINAE) both shared steps they are taking to promote EVs at the Third Annual Latin America Clean Transport Forum, which was held in San Jose, Costa Rica on September 20, 2017.

ICE said that with 76.6% of its power generation coming from renewables, the carbon savings of switching transportation from liquid fuels to electricity can be significant. Since 92% of residents live in private homes, pervasive access to home EV charging should smooth the introduction to PEVs. Also, the mild climate (an average temperature of 25°C) would enable PEV batteries to provide greater range and durability than in places with harsher weather. The utility is now investigating the barriers to PEV adoption and infrastructure requirements (such as charging levels and standards for collecting data) to prepare for their introduction.

EV Policy Development and Logistical Challenges

MINAE is developing a national policy for transportation electrification that will be released as part of the annual Oficializado Plan Nacional de Energía, which was due at the end of 2017 but does not appear to have been published yet. The national EV policy will set achievable goals for reducing emissions in transportation, including light and commercial vehicles as well as mass transit. These goals will align with the country’s overall climate change targets.

- paying the bills -

Despite these efforts, getting automakers’ attention to prioritize Costa Rica and other Latin American nations as PEV markets will be a challenge. With no local manufacturing plants, PEVs currently have to be imported into Latin America, and the higher cost of shipping the vehicles will need to be offset by local incentives. Consumer education in places where PEVs are rarely seen will require concerted effort from both the public and private sectors. Importing used PEVs, which have low resale values and could be used in fleets, is an effective method of introducing target customers to the capabilities of PEVs and building buzz around the technology.

Read the original article at Forbes.com

Q Costa Rica
Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

Related Articles

Costa Rica Say No More Projects with UNOPS

The controversy generated by the United Nations Office for Project Services...

Central America and U.S. Travel Alerts: Costa Rica At Lowest Risk Level

In its new warning system for tourists, the US government included...

MOST READ

Bus operatos must maintain operation of at least 40% during the most restricted phase

(QCOSTARICA) The Public Transport Council warned bus route concessionaires that due to the intensification of vehicle restriction measures and the opening of more businesses...

Mayors promised some businesses to operate during closings

(QCOSTARICA) The Government committed to orange zone mayors easing vehicle restrictions and allow some businesses to operate during the closure phases (August 10 to...

Indigenous Mexicans turn inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food

Zapotec farmers return from their ‘milpa,’ the garden plots that provide much of the communities’ food, in Oaxaca, Mexico. Jeffrey H. Cohen, CC BY-SA While the...

Costa Rica President signs Law Against Street Sexual Harassment

(QCOSTARICA) In the coming days, the criminal courts in Costa Rica will be able to impose fines and prison sentences for street sexual harassment...

Jair Bolsonaro Is Pushing Brazil’s Democracy To Its Breaking Point

Twenty months into the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil is on the brink of a democratic disaster. More than 100,000 Brazilians have died of COVID-19,...

Coronavirus: 18 deaths associated with COVID-19 in 24 hours

(QCOSTARICA) As the closure phase approaches for the orange areas of the country, mainly the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), the pressure for more flexible...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.