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News Article

Without Charging Stations, EV Future is Uncertain

By Alfonso Núñez | Wed, 01/19/2022 - 12:44

Mexico, along with 34 other countries, 41 cities and various companies, committed to achieve carbon emission-neutrality in new cars and vans by 2040 by signing the COP26’s agreement. However, the production of EV’s and hybrid models will not be enough as a severe lack of charging stations poses a block in the road towards neutrality.

 

Of the 767 Megatons of greenhouse gases emitted by Mexico in 2020, the transportation sector emitted an estimated 31 percent of CO2 emissions and accounted for half of the country’s energy consumption. A vital step in reducing the industry’s carbon emissions is a shift towards the production of electric and hybrid vehicles, but experts worry these efforts will be in vain so long as there are not enough EV charging stations or plans to invest in their expansion by the government.

 

“We are some of the primary pushers for this type of technology being incorporated in Mexico but unfortunately there is still much to be done. We have not seen solid public policies as we have seen in other countries for the important boost of this market,” said Jorge Vallejo, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Motors Mexico.

 

Plenty of foreign auto manufacturing plants in Mexico have committed themselves to electrification goals consistent with their home base’s sustainability visions. Mitsubishi Motors, for example, aims for EVs to represent half of all its sales in the next eight years. BMW’s San Luis Potosi plant plans to become an emission-neutral facility by 2040 due to the region’s natural resources. However, the government has not announced plans to support these efforts outside of the COP26 agreement.

 

General Director, JD Power, Gerardo Gómez, believes an EV future for Mexican automobile consumption is unlikely due to the lack of governmental incentives for the adoption of this new technology. Toppled with US President Joe Biden’s controversial incentives for the acquisition of US-union-made EVs, manufacturers in Mexico might be even less encouraged to produce electric or hybrid models.

 

A representative from JAC considered 2021 to be a good year for EV sales for the company as over 500 were sold. General Motors also announced an investment of over US$1 billion for the manufacture of EVs in its Coahuila plant by 2023. But General Motors President and General Director, José Francisco Garza Rodríguez, warns that this plan is not attainable without a structural plan for renewable energy in the country, specially as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s controversial Constitutional Electric Reform’s fate is expected to be decided this year.

 

But even if manufacturers’ plans to increase EV sales in Mexico are successful, the lack of charging stations presents one of the biggest structural roadblocks to a sustainable future. There are only 2,100 charging stations for EVs in Mexico while the US, in comparison, has about 42,500. The federal government does not have plans to increase the number of chargers available, so efforts to increase the circulation of electric and hybrid models could be in vain.

Photo by:   Unsplash, Humphrey Muleba
Alfonso Núñez Alfonso Núñez Journalist & Industry Analyst