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Why Does Mexico Need a National Electromobility Strategy?

By Felipe Gallego - MegaFlux
COO and Co-Founder


By Felipe Gallego Llano | COO and Co-Founder - Mon, 07/24/2023 - 11:00

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The National Electromobility Strategy (ENME) was recently sent to the Senate with the purpose of initiating a debate on the necessary steps to promote and expedite the adoption of electric vehicles in Mexico.

The role of the government in transitioning to sustainable mobility is crucial to its success. Through the ENME, the government can identify the required actions in the technical, technological, financial, legal, institutional, and administrative domains, as well as the creation of incentives, to expedite electrification. The objectives of the ENME are based on the country's commitments under the Paris Agreement. More than 250 stakeholders from various sectors, including federal, state and municipal governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations, collaborated in preparing this document.

What are the objectives? These include achieving a 50% sales share of zero-emissions vehicles by 2030, reducing 30 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, implementing electric public transportation in at least the Top 10 cities, establishing public charging infrastructure for both light and heavy vehicles, and standardizing charging protocols.

By 2040, the goal is for 100% of new light and heavy vehicle sales to be zero-emission, reducing 129 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, and ensuring sufficient charging infrastructure in major cities and highways across the country.

By 2050, the strategy aims to maintain zero-emission vehicles' market share for new vehicle sales, reduce 272 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (as the vehicle fleet continues to move toward zero emissions), and consolidate this technology in cargo transportation on strategic highways.

While companies and governments have been promoting clean transportation technologies in recent years, better conditions must be created to accelerate this transition. One critical aspect is the promotion of a single charging standard for electric vehicles in Mexico. The absence of regulations has allowed vehicle importers to choose charging connectors, creating challenges for consumers who cannot easily access existing charging infrastructure. This has led to the presence of vehicles with different types of chargers, operating at various voltages, requiring specialized electrical installations, and causing confusion for people and companies investing in electric vehicles.

Furthermore, given the significant cross-border traffic with the US, Mexico should consider adopting a standard similar to that in the US to facilitate the movement of EVs between the countries. The adoption of the North American Charging Standard (NACS) by companies like Tesla, Ford, Rivian, and Chevrolet, which provides access to a vast network of fast chargers in the US, should be taken into consideration. 

To promote electric transport between cities, government leadership and support for intra-city charging networks is necessary. The government could start by selecting strategic, high-traffic corridors for the deployment of charging infrastructure and offer incentives for charging infrastructure investors to build networks that ensure the safe and predictable operations of vehicles along those lanes.

The government should also consider incentives that facilitate the addition of electric vehicles into corporate fleets. These incentives should facilitate the infrastructure deployment required within distribution centers, accelerating the adoption of electric fleets in urban areas. Electrifying last-mile operations in large cities has a significant impact on public health.

Given the role of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) as the grid operator, the electrification of vehicle fleets will only be possible with significant public investment to ensure the availability of electricity. Investments in studies are a crucial first step to understand the challenges faced by CFE in energy generation, transmission, and distribution within cities. Anticipating increased demand resulting from electric vehicle adoption, these studies will guide CFE's necessary investments in generation and grid infrastructure to ensure a smooth transition.

The federal government can also collaborate closely with state and municipal governments to promote electric public transportation. Countries like Brazil and Colombia have demonstrated that the government's role in creating favorable conditions, offering competitive costs and capital, and reducing operational uncertainties is pivotal in adopting mass electric public transportation.

Finally, supporting Mexico’s manufacturing industry in becoming a leader in electric mobility will be vital, as Mexico is expected to play a significant role in meeting regional demand for electric vehicles in the coming years. Mexico has a deep and rich history in the automotive industry, and we need to invest as a country in capturing the opportunity of this significant transition to electric vehicles by becoming a regional or global leader in vehicle electrification. 

The document created by SEMARNAT covers these topics and more across its eight areas of focus and follow-up. It serves as a positive sign for Mexico's future. The framework established by the ENME opens the door to in-depth discussions on the necessary actions, especially within Congress, with the objective of assisting and accelerating this transition.

The private sector will continue working with the government and academia to create the right conditions for advancing the development of norms and laws that promote sustainable mobility in the country. With their knowledge, human capital, and unwavering commitment to a better future, they are confident that Mexico will lead the region's transition to clean and sustainable mobility.

Photo by:   Felipe Gallego

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