South America Plugin Automobile Markets, A Transient Overview — Half 3: Uruguay & Colombia

By Juan Diego Celemín Mojica

“Passionate for all issues Latin American, I’ve been intently following the vitality and mobility transitions since they began to be current south of the Equator.”

In the event you missed half 1 and half 2 of this sequence, see: South American Plugin Automobile Markets, A Transient Overview — Half 1: Argentina, Peru, & Ecuador and South America Plugin Automobile Markets, A Transient Overview — Half 2: Chile & Brazil.


Smallest of all, Uruguay usually competes with Chile for the “most developed Latin American Nation” badge. Nevertheless, on this case it’s secure to say that even when Uruguay has a extra outstanding EV market, Chile has significantly better info obtainable. For all my analysis, I used to be unable to find any sort of particular information for Uruguay, and nothing concerning 2022 numbers. Solely normal numbers are offered. Nevertheless, they place the nation because the second greatest — even perhaps the very best — EV market within the area.

It’s good to level out that Uruguay’s electrical energy era is basically based mostly upon wind, hydropower, and biomass energy, which makes it nearly carbon-free. The nation has important advantages for EV consumers, together with lowered taxes, half the price for car registration, zero tariffs on EVs, and subsidies for electrical buses.

EV numbers in Uruguay

It was surprisingly laborious to get EV numbers for Uruguay, extra so than for every other South American nation I discovered information for. ACAU (Uruguay’s nationwide car affiliation) doesn’t present any information on electrical or electrified automobiles. Nevertheless, it does present info on whole gross sales, and due to this we all know that it bought 36,398 automobiles in 2020 and 51,737 in 2021.

Now, in response to a Uruguayan media website, 97 BEVs had been bought in 2020 (0.25% market share), a quantity that elevated to 542 in 2021 (1% market share). There is no such thing as a extra info concerning fashions, manufacturers or general market composition, however this might imply that Uruguay truly led the South American BEV market in 2021, surpassing Colombia (the present chief YTD so far as we all know).

Now, even when the knowledge offered is flimsy, no less than some issues may be extracted from the info offered by ACAU. For one, similar to in Colombia, BYD is a really massive participant in Uruguay, with over 60% market share in electrical utilitarian automobiles in 2021. It had 392 whole gross sales in 2021, all of which had been both BEVs or PHEVs. As of June 30, 2022, BYD has bought 223 automobiles in 2022. Although, it’s not possible to know with the obtainable information what number of are BEVs and what number of plug-in hybrids.

Uruguay can also be dedicated to constructing large-scale charging infrastructure, with 87 charging factors already current and 35 extra deliberate by the tip of the 12 months. Nevertheless, of the latter, solely 6 may have DC quick charging. A fast overview on Electromaps reveals a really complete charging community that covers the entire nation, however only some DC quick chargers in and across the largest cities within the south. The remainder of the community consists primarily of 22kW Kind 2 AC chargers.

Last feedback on Uruguay

Nations like Argentina, Brazil, and Peru should get their act collectively and begin engaged on selling the adoption of EVs.
Uruguay appears to be doing an honest job on this matter, however it must get its act collectively on one other one: its statistics are horrible. Not one of the Latin American media reporting on EVs ever consists of Uruguay in any of their rankings as a result of it appears not possible to position them exactly. I truly do not know if Uruguay ought to be the highest South American nation concerning EV market share in 2022. If anybody might present a supply for this matter, it might be nicely obtained.

Regardless, Uruguay has an honest market share; an enormous array of EV choices from manufacturers like BYD, eMin, Farizon, Hozon, FAW, Hyundai, JAC, Keyton, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan; and the very best charging community within the area (although, primarily consisting of 22kW chargers).


Once I began this text sequence, I believed Colombia was the indeniable chief within the transition to electrical mobility and the one nation within the area that had surpassed 1% plug-in car gross sales (in 2021) and 1% pure BEV gross sales (YTD in 2022). This was primarily as a result of Uruguay’s numbers are by no means talked about anyplace, as, apparently, they’re not possible to determine. Now I ponder whether Colombia or Uruguay ought to be main this rating … however I feel Colombia deserves first place, if solely as a result of the info it supplies is detailed, complete, and far simpler to work with.

The Colombian authorities has made a constant effort to make EVs compelling for the inhabitants. On the nationwide degree, there are important incentives to buy electrified automobiles (BEVs, PHEVs, and HEVs), together with zero tariffs, a 5% VAT (in comparison with 19% for gasoline and diesel vehicles), and a preferential tax price which will by no means be set above 1% the value of the automotive (it may be as much as 3.5% for gasoline and diesel vehicles). On the native degree, many cities have limitations on using gasoline and diesel automobiles sure days of the week (Bogota, the strictest one, solely permits using a automotive on half of weekdays). Nevertheless, for the reason that cause for this coverage is claimed to be air high quality, BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs, and even gentle hybrids are exempt. Although, the latter could lose this standing within the months to come back.

EV numbers in Colombia

Throughout the first six months of 2022, Colombia bought 3,783 plug-in automobiles in whole, nicely over half — 2,269 — being BEVs. A complete of 147,107 automobiles had been bought throughout the first 6 months of the 12 months, which implies plug-ins stand at 2.5% market share, 1.5% being BEVs and 1% being PHEVs. Plug-in gross sales have been rising at important charges month after month, averaging 256% for BEVs and 89% for PHEVs. That is regardless of the rise in costs resulting from logistical points.

Now, brand-wise, the Colombian market is sort of explicit. A big a part of the expansion has come due to the acquisition of over 1,000 electrical buses by Transmilenio, Bogota’s public transport firm (which has made it the town with the biggest variety of electrical buses anyplace exterior of China). BYD — the corporate offering the buses — due to this fact leads the market by a major distinction, adopted by two European firms (Volvo and Mercedes-Benz) that full the rostrum. It’s fairly possible that a few of the manufacturers on this prime 10 will likely be unknown to many readers, however we’ll come again to that later.

BYD 1,226
BMW 319
MINI 123
JAC 76

As for the highest 10 fashions, 5 BEVs and 5 PHEVs prime the checklist:

1 BYD BC89S01 470
2 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 304
3 BYD Tune Plus DM-i 246
4 BYD BC11S01 218
5 Volvo XC60 187
6 Volvo XC90 169
7 Zhidou D2S 159
8 Stärk E-Truck 4.0T 139
9 BMW X5 107
10 MINI Cooper SE 97

Now, as a result of it is a regional overview, I received’t delve deeply into each one in every of these fashions. I assume for a lot of of our readers, a few of these automobiles will likely be unknown, so it’s honest to no less than speak a bit about them. Each BYD fashions current on the checklist are electrical buses, with a capability of 80 and 50 passengers, respectively. The chassis was in-built China and despatched to Colombia for the remainder of their meeting course of.

As for the Zhidou D2s, it’s a two-seater with an 18kWh battery and a 30kW motor. It’s not on the Wuling Hongguang’s degree: at $58,350,000 COP ($13,960 USD), it’s nonetheless costlier than entry-level gasoline automobiles as nicely. Nevertheless, it’s the most cost-effective EV in Colombia with any semblance of being a “actual” automotive. Alternatively, the Chinese language-made Colombia-branded Stärk E-Truck is a 4-ton capability city truck with a 120kW motor and an 81kWh battery. Each of those automobiles are presently bought by a Colombian firm referred to as Auteco, which a mere three years in the past solely bought bikes however presently has the broadest portfolio of electrical mobility choices within the nation. That features vans, vehicles, bikes, three-wheelers, scooters, and the approaching JAC E10X. Auteco additionally commercializes electrical vans and vehicles from JAC and Dongfeng, which stand in positions 8 and 10 in our model rating. 

Honorary point out goes out to the BYD Yuan Professional and the Audi e-tron, which had 91 and 83 automobiles bought, respectively, throughout the first half of the 12 months. They’re #11 and #12 within the rating.

Charging infrastructure

As for infrastructure, Colombia presently lacks a complete quick charging community. Although, a number of cities — Bogota and Medellin, specifically — have put in a major variety of quick and gradual chargers inside their city perimeters. These days, there are solely two initiatives centered on inter-city chargers: the biggest of those, led by a nationwide gasoline station firm referred to as Terpel, presently has 12 stations working. Although, they solely have one (vulnerable to failure) stand in every: 50kW of energy and three plugs (CCS1, Kind 2 AC, and CHAdeMO). Within the following map, in blue, they current the present stations, and in gray, the upcoming ones.

Picture courtesy of Terpel.

The one different gamers presently engaged on inter-city charging are the cities of Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia, which compose Colombia’s Espresso Axis and have constructed three fast-chargers — like Terpel’s — to permit straightforward journey between them.

Last feedback on Colombia

It’s value mentioning no less than a number of extra particularities of Colombia’s present EV state of affairs. First, the Chinese language have been dominating gross sales regardless of a whole absence of GB/T connectors anyplace exterior a metropolis. We’ll see within the coming years if that state of affairs is sustainable. Second, no less than 4 new fashions are coming to the nation within the remaining months of 2022: the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, the JAC E10X, a but unnamed truck by Foton (a Chinese language model which is the second largest truck maker and vendor within the nation), and the BYD Dolphin. Costs haven’t but been introduced for any of those automobiles aside from the Chinese language-made, Mexican-assembled JAC E10X, which is able to value $89,500,000 COP, or $21,064 USD at present alternate charges.


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