12th January 2020

Central & South America

What will it take for Latin America to develop an electric car industry?

The "lithium triangle" is located in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia, where the world's largest reserves of this material are found (85%). Lithium is used to manufacture batteries for cameras, mobile phones and electric cars all over the world. This material plays a key role in opening up an electric car market.x

Global Warming and Climate Change have led humanity to seek energy alternatives to reduce the environmental impact on the planet, specifically, to reduce CO2 emissions. The solution is to move towards electromobility, reach a transition to clean energy. In this matter Latin America could be essential.

Australia, China, Chile and Argentina are the world's leading lithium producers. From the aforementioned, China has not only learned to exploit this raw material but has also managed to create a large lithium-ion battery industry, as well as an electric vehicle market with a large international presence. Chinese production and extraction capacity are more advanced compared to Latin America.

Quantum a Bolivian alternative

Quantum is the first electric vehicle manufactured in Bolivia that works with lithium batteries.It is sold in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba, the most polluted city in the country and with the worst air quality in South America, with 92% of pollution coming from the automotive fleet, according to the Swisscontact organization in Bolivia. The Bolivian government supported the opening of this electric vehicle to the market.

60% of Quantum vehicles are built with imported parts. The remaining 40% is manufactured in Bolivia. It has the capacity to transport three people, a range of 70 km, it can reach 42 km / h and it takes 6 hours to recharge. The price ranges between 5,000 and 6,000 US dollars

Sero Electric the Argentine option

Sero Electric is produced in Morón, Province of Buenos Aires. 80% of it is assembled in the country. Its lithium batteries give it between 70 and 80 km. It takes between 5 and 7 hours to recharge, with a maximum speed of 45 km / h. Prices range from US $ 9,900 to US $ 14,600.

Now the most important question is whether an electric car industry is feasible in the region. Experts conclude that it is not very viable, due to the conditions in the region. Industrial production tends to be confused with prototypes. It is not difficult to make prototypes of electric or solar cars, but they cannot be made at a big scale. Neither Argentina, Chile nor Bolivia have the capacity to develop competitive electric vehicles on a global scale because they do not have the financial or technical capacities to do so.