Lacking Infrastructure Hampers Border Trade in Baja California
The government of California, the US, will require half of all heavy-duty truck sales in the state to be fully electric by 2035 to offset the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, on the other side of the border, industry insiders consider that Baja California may not be ready to receive such units, as it needs the infrastructure to charge them.
The government of California is planning to transition from fossil fuel-powered units to electric trucks by 2035. According to California’s plan, 10% of the fleet must be electrified by 2024. However, Kenia Zamarripa, Director of International Business Affairs, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, believes that the real challenge remains on the Mexican side of the border, as Baja California does not have the infrastructure to charge these trucks. “These regulations were approved the past month. They will impact every truck that crosses California, no matter if it is a Mexican unit that is moving goods through the state,” Zamarripa said.
Zamarripa said that transportation chambers on both sides of the border met with the Mexican Ambassador to the US, Esteban Moctezuma, to discuss this common concern since it will affect trade between border states. “We want both federal governments to be aware of what is going on between California and Baja California to ensure a successful transition and to avoid any complication to the industry and the supply chain,” Zamarripa added.
At the time of writing, Mexico has not made any comments regarding the installation of charging stations in Baja California. The industrial sector has highlighted the importance of installing these stations, as crossing points often have an average waiting time of 6 hours. During these wait times, electric trucks could utilize charging stations to recharge.
Despite the challenges, the Mexican logistics sector is perceived as a priority to introduce electric units. In an interview with MBN, Alejandro Echeverri, Senior Director of Transport Operations, DHL Supply Chain Mexico, said that Mexico and Brazil are attractive countries to introduce electric units since they can be a model for the region, especially for countries with similar economies like Colombia, Chile and Peru.