Guide to electric urban mobility in Uruguay

In the framework of the elaboration of its National Policy for Sustainable Urban Mobility (NUMP), the government of Uruguay presented the Guide for Electric Urban Mobility in Uruguay. This document will provide practical guidance in the decision making and definition of electromobility projects, both in subnational governments and in the private sector.

The Guide should be seen as one of the applicable instruments for cities, companies and civil society that will support the implementation of the NUMP Uruguay, developed as part of the EUROCLIMA+ programme with the technical support of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ).

The Guide aims to provide departmental governments with everything they need to promote sustainable urban mobility, including electric urban mobility, as well as to develop capacities at the national level and among all stakeholders involved.

To this end, multiple topics are addressed to achieve comprehensive coverage of electric mobility in the country, including a state of the art of the current situation of electromobility, recommendations and case studies, as well as business models. It also covers different aspects such as mobility of persons, freight transport, charging infrastructure and battery management.

As a complement to the Guide, it also offers a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis tool to be evaluated by initiatives with an interest in electromobility and to analyze their profitability.

Currently, there are favorable conditions for electric mobility in Uruguay; 98% of the energy grid in Uruguay is renewable, there are 55 electric taxis in Montevideo and the first electric route in Latin America with 50 charging stations throughout the country.

 electric mobility in Uruguay

Technical assistance to develop a business model to finance and scale-up e-mobility in Uruguay

Uruguay has an emerging electric vehicle (EV) sector, with good growth prospects and a strong policy agenda on fleet electrification. The country has committed to several mitigation measures in the transport sector, such as the introduction of EVs in public transport, of utility EVs and the installation of the first electrical route of Latin America connecting Colonia-Montevideo-Chui.

The main objective of a project carried out by an international consortium led by MRC Consultants and Transaction Advisers, and composed by TRT and SEG Ingenieríais, is to provide a policy and regulatory guide for a smooth transition to e-mobility in Uruguay and help the country to achieve an efficient and sustainable transport decarbonisation, through the following points:

  • Diagnosis of the current infrastructure and regulatory situation of e-mobility;
  • Assessment of the several pilot projects already developed;
  • Identification of desired business models and financing scheme for e-buses and private EVs;
  • Proposal of a policy and regulatory guide to achieve overall e-mobility expansion targets in a time-line consistent with Uruguayan Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement objectives;
  • Proposal of a consistent and sustainable body of fiscal incentives and subsidies to favour and promote the aforementioned e-mobility targets.

TRT is specifically involved in the project component related to private e-mobility, as well as in the fiscal impact assessment to proposed measures and policies.

Furthermore, the project will provide a set of outputs, including the following:

  • E-bus financing alternative schemes with estimated cost impact, timeframe, and impact on rolling stock;
  • Assessment of long-term fiscal impact and ways to ensure efficiency and sustainability of alternative schemes;
  • Regulatory and fiscal incentive schemes to sustainably increase use of private EVs;
  • Long-term fiscal impact analysis of incentives and tax revenues from foregone taxes, and elaborate recommendations;
  • Two public workshops and related materials available for knowledge sharing.

The aforementioned topics, among many others, will be discussed during IN-VR’s Uruguay Energy Summit taking place later this year in Montevideo, which will gather dozens of the leading local and international figures related to e-mobility, as well as top lithium producers and exporters making e-mobility a reality in the country and region.

E-motion: e-mobility and low carbon transportation, a program to strengthen electric mobility in Uruguay

In October 2022, the multi-country program E-Motion: E-Mobility and Low Carbon Transportation, led by the Development Bank of Latin America – CAF, was approved by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

As part of the consulting services in project development assistance, strategy, policy, strategy, and regulatory support, Hinicio, together with Greenwerk, an advisory firm for climate finance and climate policy, advised on the formulation and design of this program.

With the aim of moving towards sustainable mobility in Uruguay, among other Latin American countries, this project seeks to strengthen the e-mobility ecosystem. By incorporating the financing of large-scale e-bus fleets, light electric commercial vehicles (public and private), and fast-charging infrastructure, E-Motion will help mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Uruguay, which has high renewable energy participation, through a clean, safe, reliable, and sustainable transportation system.

The program will have 4 components to be implemented over the next 6 years. The first will focus on strengthening regulatory frameworks and capacities, and the other 3 on financing the vehicle fleet and infrastructure. As highlighted by Pilar Henriquez, Mobility and Strategy Manager at Hinicio Chile and leader of this project, “the program will help bridge the gap between small-scale pilot projects and high-impact projects, accelerate the adoption of electric mobility in the region, and generate a mass deployment of EVs, making a direct impact in reducing GHG emissions in Uruguay and other Latin American countries”.

This project will not only promote innovation in business models by reducing costs and scaling up sustainable mobility at the regional level, but will also help countries lay the foundations for decarbonizing the sector, promoting new markets and value chains related to EVs, batteries, charging infrastructure, improving air quality, developing new local capacity buildings, and connecting cities and communities in a more sustainable way.

Although Hinicio had already participated in sustainable mobility projects in Latin America and Europe, this program marks a milestone in its experience to continue working and strengthening this ecosystem at a regional level through consultancy in strategic project design and implementation.

About the Author: Felipe Gaitán Michelsen

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