Electric cars in Colombia

Clean tech, Electricity    Jul 23, 2019 3:05 PM

The registration of electric cars in the country increased this year, confirming a change in the automotive market.

The Sustainable Development Goals that the United Nations published back in 2015 had, among others, the idea of encouraging some of the most polluting industries to offer cleaner alternatives to their clients, in line with the environment’s needs.

From that moment, El Colombiano said, the automotive industry started generating a larger supply of electric vehicles; a market that has been growing worldwide.

According to data provided by Colombia’s Association of Sustainable Mobility (Andemos), the registration of electric vehicles grew 154% during the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year.

This metric went from 126 in 2018 to 320 in 2019.

As for hybrid vehicles, the total variation was 291.5%, going from 248 between January – June 2018, to 971 in 2019.

“It is increasingly noticeable how consumers are interested in acquiring alternative motor vehicles, there is more awareness. The most urgent task: to look at how to make the prices of these cars more competitive,” said Raúl Ávila, economics professor at the National University.

The shift to a clean transport system must be done soon, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called for government policies to help generate a more consumer-friendly business framework to help citizens acquire these types of cars.

In fact, in August last year, the IMF found out that one of the most important obstacles to the purchase of electric cars is that materials such as lithium and cobalt (essential for rechargeable batteries) are now selling at higher prices.

According to the entity, the price of lithium has grown 30%, while cobalt increased its cost 150%, between September 2016 and July of last year.

Bottom-line: A 154% increase in electric vehicle sales is eye-catching but the reality is that we are still talking about less than 1,000 electric vehicles in a population of over 13M cars and trucks. Not yet enough to attract investors to create the charging infrastructure needed to make EV’s more than just ‘commuter toys’.

Now it is up to the government to boost the use of electric vehicles, by making them more financially accessible to Colombians, by creating incentives for commercial vehicles like taxis and by showing leadership with public transport.

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