South American Plugin Car Markets, A Temporary Overview — Half 1: Argentina, Peru, & Ecuador

By Juan Diego Celemín Mojica

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

To date, South America has been a laggard within the transition to electrical mobility. This, and the truth that the continent represents a comparatively small share of the world’s total new automobile market (~5.5% in 2020), has made the area a comparatively unknown participant within the globe’s transition to wash mobility. But the transition is marching there as it’s all over the place else, and electrical and hybrid autos has gone from being nearly unknown within the area to representing a small but rising proportion of gross sales. Some international locations, as we’ll see, appear to be on the verge of disruption, whereas others are simply beginning to see EVs being delivered in sizable numbers.

Sadly, not all of the international locations within the area supply complete info relating to BEV and PHEV gross sales, and a few appear to have solely a trickle of EVs getting into their markets. Due to this, not all South American international locations will seem on this listing, and those who do might be ranked from decrease EV market share to increased EV market share.

Argentina & Peru

We begin this overview in a grim temper. However don’t despair. It should get higher.

As a common rule, the extra developed an EV market is, the extra info there’s about it. Which means for the primary international locations on this article sequence, each of which have solely a marginal EV presence, info sources are few and much between. Due to this, I made a decision to current these two international locations collectively.

EV numbers in Argentina & Peru

Throughout the first six months of 2022, 140,049 autos had been offered in Argentina. Earlier than we go additional, yet another observe: a quirk of underdeveloped EV markets is to both merge all electrified autos as “electrical” or, in the very best of circumstances, to separate “electrical” from “hybrid” however merge PHEVs and HEVs. As we’ll see, this is quite common in Latin American international locations … together with Argentina.

Due to this, we all know that 3,371 of those 140,049 autos gross sales had been hybrids however most of them (together with the 5 most offered fashions, which account for 80% of whole hybrid gross sales) had been HEVs. The PHEV whole is an unknown quantity. Solely 82 BEVs had been offered, 0.05% of the market … a very marginal proportion. In consequence, solely three full electrical fashions managed to get into the highest 15 gross sales for electrified autos:


Honorary point out to the Tito Corradir, a courageous made-in-Argentina contender that could be a fundamental two-seat BEV from $16,500 (8 kWh, 4.5 kW for the bottom mannequin). It at the moment has the lead within the Argentinian market. Farewell, you bizarre little automobile.

Picture courtesy of Coradir.

Peru, in the meantime, presents a grand whole of 89,341 autos offered through the first six months of 2022. Luckily, Peru’s numbers are significantly better offered, and we will know that 62 of those autos had been BEVs (0.07%) and 75 had been PHEVs (0.08%). Collectively, they even surpass the 0.1% mark!

Peru’s electrical market, like Argentina’s, continues to be very younger, and 2022’s best achievement to this point has been to surpass one-tenth of a % of month-to-month gross sales. It’s one thing … however I feel we will anticipate extra for 2022.

Sure, each Peru and Argentina are laggards, regardless of some reductions they provide with an EV buy (like decrease VAT). It stays to be seen if the 2 international locations will be capable of overcome their limitations and change into huge gamers in a area the place they’re at the moment being left behind.

Sadly, I couldn’t discover info relating to model and mannequin gross sales in Peru.


Regardless of its small dimension, Ecuador stands out because the fifth greatest BEV market in South America — however electrical autos on this nation are nonetheless few and much between, although they supply important advantages for his or her homeowners. Presently, the Ecuadorian authorities affords 0% VAT for any BEV bought within the nation, a 50% low cost on metropolis tolls, a 50% low cost on automobile taxes (and for on taxes for EV chargers too), and particular tariffs for electrical energy.

EV numbers in Ecuador

When writing this text, information for the Ecuadorian automobile market was solely out there by Might. Subsequently, I’ll solely current gross sales numbers through the first 5 months of 2022.

From January–Might, 149 BEVs had been offered in Ecuador, a small quantity if we evaluate it with the entire of 55,392 autos registered in that very same interval. As such, BEV market share stands at solely 0.27%. Hybrids fared higher, at 2,801 items (5% market share), however — once more — official information makes it unimaginable to know what number of of those had been HEVs and what number of had been PHEVs. As such, I’ll deal with BEVs. In spite of everything, isn’t a full BEV market what we’re all on the lookout for?

Numbers could also be small, however they’re rising quickly. Solely two years in the past, BEVs had been promoting within the single digits in Ecuador. That stated, the speed of development appears to have stopped in Might.

Ecuador has excessive affect from Chinese language manufacturers, a few of that are nearly unknown to the remainder of the area. Yr thus far, the highest 10 (effectively, truly, prime 11) appears to be like like this:

2 AUDI 21
4 BYD 16
9 MG 3

8 manufacturers out of the 11 are Chinese language, if we embrace MG. Nevertheless, as a result of very small dimension of the present BEV market in Ecuador, it’s arduous to argue they’ve an insurmountable lead. Any automaker able to providing compelling autos may take the crown from them. The market will not be but set.

As for charging infrastructure, Ecuador at the moment lacks a complete community (as does many of the area), however it has a number of sluggish and speedy charging stations in Quito, and 4 of them connecting the cities of Guayaquil and Cuenca. The market continues to be minuscule, although, and it stays to be seen whether or not charging infrastructure will develop on the similar fee as different international locations.

Closing feedback

Ecuador at the moment has a number of the most beneficiant gasoline subsidies on this planet. A number of governments have tried to dismantle them, solely to seek out themselves going through huge opposition from massive sectors of the inhabitants. This places the federal government in a troublesome place: it might wish to promote EVs to cut back gasoline consumption (and improve the share of oil that may be exported), however the incentives for this will not be set within the financial system — the inhabitants has entry to comparatively low-cost fuel. Nevertheless, charging an EV continues to be cheaper, and Colombia reveals {that a} nation can concurrently have subsidies for gasoline and a comparatively excessive EV market share. Keep tuned.

Featured picture courtesy of Coradir.


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