The study is one of the activities of the public-private agreement signed in 2018 between various companies in Chile and its Transport and Telecommunications, Environment and Energy ministries. The Calac+ Programme provides the agreement with technical and financial support, to promote electro-mobility.
In the framework of this public-private commitment, the Chilean Ministry of Energy arranged for the study to be conducted to monitor fleets of lightweight electric vehicles and buses, to design a methodology for determining the energy consumption baseline and the operational characteristics of a vehicle fleet, in order to compare the efficiency of internal combustion vehicles and electric vehicles.
The contract to carry out this study was awarded to the Energy Centre of the University of Chile. The Calac+ Programme became involved with the aim of cooperating with the Ministry of the Environment. Calac+ is also promoting another study on the analysis and life-cycle cost of electric buses and their comparison with EURO VI diesel buses.
On 30 July, the Ministry of Energy, the University of Chile Energy Centre the and the Calac+ Programme held a webinar to present the methodologies of both studies, in a panel formed by Gabriel Prudencio, head of the sustainable energy division of the Ministry of Energy of Chile; Williams Calderón, of the University of Chile Energy Centre; and Juan Pablo Romero, consultant at Swisscontact, which Swiss Cooperation’s Global Climate Change Program put in charge of the Calac+ Programme.
Rafael Millán, SDC cooperation programme officer opened the event, thanking the specialists for sharing the progress of the studies, which will be key for scaling up the experience. Adrian Montalvo, Director of the Calac+ Programme, went on to highlight the support received from the Ministry of Energy, which coordinated the study.
The webinar programme was opened by Gabriel Prudencio, head of the sustainable energy division of the Ministry of Energy, who gave a general presentation on electro-mobility in Chile today and its benefits, the reasons why it is a priority on the sector’s agenda. He explained that the sector has set the following zero emission transport targets: 100 per cent electric urban public transport and at least 40 per cent electric private vehicles by 2050.
William Calderón, a specialist at the University of Chile’s Energy Centre, presented the study on the methodology for analysing the viability of an electric vehicle fleet of the University of Chile’s Energy Centre. He explained that the aim was to develop a methodology to define an energy consumption baseline and the operational characteristics that a vehicle fleet should have, which would facilitate a comparison of efficiency between internal combustion and electric vehicles. This information will be key to decision-making for an effective conversion to electric mobility and the promotion of public policies in this area.
Juan Pablo Romero, Swisscontact consultant, presented the methodology for using artificial intelligence algorithms to study the life-cycle of buses. He mentioned that the study was motivated by economic and environmental reasons, and it will provide a clear idea of the advantages of including an electric fleet in the transport system to replace vehicles with EURO VI technology, improving air quality and the environment, and helping reduce environmental pollution.
Both studies are in course and will provide an in-depth comparison on the efficiency, costs and operation of electric and internal combustion buses.
Finally, Martin Jaggi, Head of SDC, closed the event, thanking the specialists for sharing the methodologies and the Chilean experience in electro-mobility. He said that SDC has been promoting the Calac+ programme and the innovation of new technologies such as electro-mobility for several years, and hoped that in the near future it would be possible to demonstrate the advantages of changing from diesel vehicles to electric vehicles. He also pointed out that Calac+ would continue to encourage discussion by holding more webinars, especially for the presentation of the results of the socio-economic study of electro-mobility. This will be an important milestone and will give a political signal to the other countries of the Pacific Alliance.
Chile is now the country with the largest fleet of electric buses in Latin America. It operates 724 electric buses in the Metropolitan Region, which makes its experience in electro-mobility a reference for the whole region. With the results of the studies, important information should be available to expand Chile’s experience to other cities in the region.
The Clean Air and Climate in Latin American Cities Programme (CALAC+) envisions healthier cities that reduce their emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (such as black carbon), atmospheric gases and greenhouse gases (GHGs) by shifting towards soot-free and low-carbon urban buses and off-road machinery.
Its central objective is to reduce harmful air pollutants by deploying soot-free engines in urban public transport and off-road machinery to protect human health and mitigate climate change.