According to IDB data, Latin America’s transport sector is the largest source of energy-related emissions in the region and its car fleet is responsible for 37% of total transport emissions. As countries work on revising their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), dialogue on COVID-19 and air pollution could play a role in helping to make the case for simultaneous climate action and public health measures.
In the case of Chile more than 36% of energy consumption is used by the transport sector, and most of the is imported and polluting. This is the reason why electromobility is beginning to play a relevant role.
Indeed, to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, countries must urgently reduce emissions by approximately 50% by 2030 and decarbonise the global economy through a just transition. This will require transformation in several areas, including electrification of transport and more frequent use of public and non-motorised transportation. Therefore, promoting a shift towards public transport and electrifying the transport sector is essential to improve air quality and reduce emissions.
There are currently 1,769 electric vehicles in Chile, including buses, light-duty vehicles and trucks. However, there are only 74 electric taxis and buses in the country. Therefore, the priority in terms of electromobility is the public transport and to encourage the inclusion of vehicles such as taxis and buses.
In January 2021, the launch of a new programme was announced that seeks to boost electromobility in public transport, specifically in the basic taxi segment. Mi Taxi Eléctrico is a programme of the Ministry of Energy, implemented by the Energy Sustainability Agency, which provides co-financing to replace a basic taxi with an electric one, the purchase and installation of an electric home charger and the monitoring of the electric vehicle purchased for one year. This initiative is expected to benefit 50 taxi drivers in the communes of the Province of Santiago, Puente Alto and San Bernardo.
For the beneficiaries of the programme, Banco Estado will offer, through its Electromobility Credit, a financing option for co-payment at a concessional rate for the purchase of the vehicle.
Within the framework of this programme, a call for electric vehicle suppliers was previously made to participate in this initiative, in order to select a single supplier of the awarded electric taxis, which provides a benefit to the price for the aggregate purchase of vehicles.