19 Jan First Electric Highway in Latin America: URUGUAY
Uruguay has the first Electric Highway in Latin America. Electric vehicles can now ride from Colonia to Punta del Este with a guaranteed power charge. The first 300 km stretch was inaugurated in December.
It is projected to be extended to the border with Brazil by March and cover the whole country as a second stage.
The charging points are situated 60 Kms away from each other, which is particularly beneficial as the current electric vehicles in the country have autonomy of 150-300 Kms.
After the “revolution” generated by the shift in the Uruguayan energy matrix, “the next great challenge is to transform all transport to electric transport” claims Gonzalo Casaravilla, from UTE, the national electrical company. The Uruguayan Authorities are taking part in this long-term project.
Following this objective, the Uruguayan government is anticipating future demand by designing and providing the required infrastructure for the development of this mode of transport.
This project is the synthesis of many years’ work in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining; and state government.
The second phase will imply extending the electric highway to cover the whole country, with charging stations situated 60 kms away from each other as international standards indicate.
For UTE, the development of electricmobility is more regarded in environmental terms, than in economic ones. This is a strategic outlook aiming at improving the quality of life of all users, and ultimately, improving the country.
FREE CHARGE DURING SUMMER
The installation of charging points in national highways separated 60 kms from each other allows electric vehicles users to be confident when riding long distances.
Until March 1st, the charge will be for free at all the centres. Hereinafter, such users will hold a card which will unblock chargers in stations. A software has been developed to top up such cards for payment after the previously mentioned date.
The director of UTE’s “Intelligent Network” project, Eduardo Bergerie, exposed that charging rates have been defined for taxis, and they have their own charging centre in Montevideo. A final cost model for charging centres for individuals in public areas.
In order to accessing charging stations, vehicles must have a type 2 connector (Mennekes). The charging time will vary according to the amount of battery wished to be accumulated in it and the available power in the charging station. The currently installed equipment can range from 22 kW or 43 kW, meaning they are quite fast. This is estimated that the charge can take up to 20-30 minutes, enough to go have a coffee, clear one’s mind and keep driving.
STIMULI TO ELECTRIC MOBILITY
The development of electric mobility counts on a set of economic stimuli. UTE subsidized with US $10,000 for each electric taxi and a 50% discount on energy charge for taxis until 2020.
The tariffs for electric vehicles imports is 0% and the IMESI (Internal Specific Tax) is 5,75%; a lower amount than the one for conventional cars.
The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining is working in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport in a reformulation of the gasoil trust fund, in order to take the number of kilometers covered by transport units into account for this purpose; wishing to stimulate the incorporation of electric units. Within the Investment Promotion Law framework, there are some stimuli for investment projects involving electric mobility.