Economies around the world are looking to adopt electric mobility schemes to reduce the emissions produced by burning fossil fuels, such as diesel and gasoline.
Although transport has contributed around 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions – with land transport being the main emitter, followed by maritime and aviation -, the Mexican Association of Transport and Mobility (AMTM) considers that transport Public passenger transport will be the last segment to massify the use of electric units , after freight and private transport.
Nicolás Rosales, president of the AMTM, lists among the biggest obstacles the high costs of the new units, in addition to the lack of infrastructure and incentives.
price and offer
Electric units are not yet mass-produced in Mexico. While from January to September 146,200 units of heavy diesel vehicles and 525 of particular gas were produced, only 28 electric vehicles were assembled, according to data from the Association of Bus, Truck and Tractor Producers (Anpact).
In addition, an electric unit costs twice as much compared to another that uses fossil fuels, which makes it difficult to renew the units in a country where there is already a delay in the renewal of the fleet. According to Anpact, the average age of the heavy vehicle fleet in Mexico is 19 years.
“We are going for two and a half years of pandemic, we are barely in the recovery process, that implies that the financial recovery will take three or four years to be able, more or less, to move towards a new energy matrix that can be gas, diesel ultra-low sulfur, and then towards emission-free schemes,” Rosales said in an interview with Expansión .
Heavy vehicle owners have been looking for alternative fuels to reduce their carbon emissions for a couple of years now, so the adoption of more environmentally friendly mobility schemes seems to be more of an upward slope with a series of of steps .
“It is very risky to say that electromobility is just around the corner ; there must be a slow process of economic recovery, but also financial and fiscal schemes that allow these units to be accessible,” Rosales added.
The first steps in the matter have already been taken. In Guadalajara, Jalisco, on July 1, the My Electric Transportation program celebrated its first anniversary, which began with 38 electric units that transported 1,736,428 passengers until last April, according to information from the state government.
For Frank Gundlach, CEO of Volkswagen Trucks and Buses, the biggest challenge for the widespread use of technology is the lack of infrastructure for recharging batteries, since these units use voltages above 400 volts.
“We know that electrification does not only depend on having an electric vehicle, you need an infrastructure to be able to charge it… It is an issue that really needs to be accelerated, the chargers are different, higher voltages for a truck,” he adds in an interview with Expansión .
Gundlach also considers that cargo vehicles will be the first to reach the mass use of electric units, followed by private vehicles, as they use a lower voltage and also, because they are suitable for use in cities, taking into account the capacity of batteries per charge .
The firm of German origin currently does not have electric passenger vehicles, but in the cargo segment it does . On October 4, within the framework of ExpoTransporte, organized by Anpact, the company delivered the first of five cargo vehicles to Grupo Modelo, a model known as e-Delivery, with capacities of 11 and 14 tons.
The specialists consulted agree that achieving electrification in the segment will require a coordinated effort between public and private initiative , since there are several challenges it faces.
“We are talking about a process beyond a government, of six or 12 years, so that you can move towards electromobility. Chile did it in no less than 15 years and it is the point where we have to start looking: it has an important, efficient electromobility system, but it took a long process of implementation and operation”, concludes Rosales.