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Electric vehicles do not produce atmospheric or acoustic pollution, in addition the investment per energy charge in the country is minimal: Bs 2.80 for every 60 km. Quantum is evidence of the advancement of electromobility technologies in Bolivia.

In times of crisis, traveling 60 km in a car with a combustion engine for Bs 2.80 seems impossible, however for electric vehicles made in Bolivia it is a reality, assured LA RAZÓN the co-founder of Quantum, Carlos Soruco.

“These cars don’t have as many wear parts like combustion cars. You do not have to put gasoline, or change the oil or filter. It is a unique vehicle that comes with a one-year insurance and its renewal costs US $ 100. In other words, they are quite low prices ”, highlighted the executive of the first electric car factory in Bolivia.

CHALLENGES

Since the beginning of its operations, in September 2019, this Cochabamba company faced several difficulties. We are talking about the crisis generated by political-social conflicts up to the quarantines applied in the country by the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Its production and commercialization area were paralyzed, but it managed to get ahead.

“In the midst of all this, we had to obtain import permits for batteries because they contain sulfuric acid and with the change of authorities the situation was complicated. Until 2020, we have not had two continuous months of tranquility, “he said.

Regarding the price, this type of vehicle can be purchased from US $ 5,450, a cost that differentiates it in the combustion car market. However, the number of passengers they can carry ranges from two to three people, depending on the model.

A motorcycle made in Bolivia by Quantum. Photo: Rodwy Cazón

The electric car industry is growing rapidly worldwide and it is expected that by 2025 more than 68 million vehicles of this type will circulate (between hybrids, semi-hybrids and fully electric).

Despite the economic crisis, Industrias Quantum Motors sold 300 electric cars, as well as 400 motorcycles which, together with “toritos” and electric bicycles from the Yadea brand, are part of the offer of this company.

Its main markets are concentrated in Santa Cruz, Cochabamba and La Paz. The company also looks to the Latin American market for its expansion.

“This is a year of expansion, we are leaving our borders to reach El Salvador, Paraguay and Peru. The pandemic brings with it an economic crisis and nothing is cheaper than moving with our cars or our motorcycles. The sequel left by the pandemic is that people become environmentally and economically aware, ”Soruco said.

In Bolivia, in addition to Quantum, the importer Crown also offers electric cars. The main vehicle promoted is BYD (Build Your Dreams) of Chinese origin, which in recent years has increased its sales worldwide. The Chinese manufacturer sells more than half a million units per year.

Photo: Rodwy Cazón

TREND

Quantum plans to use 100% domestically produced lithium batteries in its vehicles. “We have batteries from the national lead acid industry. We have signed an inter-institutional cooperation agreement with Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) that seeks to strengthen the manufacture of 100% Bolivian electric vehicles ”, anticipated the co-founder of this industry.

According to international reports, Norway was ranked in 2020 in the first country in the world in which the commercialization of electric cars surpasses those of combustion engine. In the midst of the pandemic, 141,412 cars were sold in the Nordic country, of which 54.3% were electric.

This advance in electromobility is also due to tax exemptions promoted by the Norwegian government, against the taxes levied on cars with combustion engines.

Photo: Rodwy Cazón

Lithium, key to the battery of these vehicles

Tesla is the American company that sold the largest number of electric cars in the world in 2020. Lithium is the main component in batteries that power electromobility technologies.

According to the portal StatistaOn September 22, 2020, Tesla held its annual shareholders meeting, followed by a live broadcast of the “Battery day” event.

Through a presentation, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, showed some of the latest developments of his company in the field of batteries for electric vehicles and revealed some details of his plans for the future.

Among these, the development of a new generation of batteries that would make it possible to produce an electric vehicle for $ 25,000, a price that will make its cars more affordable to the general public. Lithium ion is the main technology used in batteries for electric cars internationally and locally.

ESK Consulting projects a seven-fold growth in demand for this resource between 2018 and 2025 with a total capacity of 700,000 GWh.

A major factor in the world of electric cars is the drop in the price of lithium ion batteries, which have dominated the market in recent years.

According to the porta Statista, the price of this type of battery has gone from $ 1,100 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2010 to $ 156 in 2019 (-87%) and is expected to drop to $ 100 in 2024.

According to specialists worldwide, this type of battery is characterized by its energy density, in addition to the fact that it can double its useful life compared to other technologies designed for electric mobility.

The news agency Bloomberg notes that global demand for lithium will exceed 10 million metric tons by 2030, far from the 700,000 tons produced to date. This production is concentrated in two points: the “lithium triangle” (Argentina, Chile and Bolivia). And the other enclave is Australia. In accordance with US Geological Survey, Bolivia is the country with the most proven reserves in the world.

EXPOSITION. A high-end Tesla electric vehicle is on display at a show in the US. Photo: AFP

SALES

As seen in the infographic, battery electric vehicle sales reached 1.7 million units in 2019. According to data from EV-Volumes, Asia and Oceania have been drivers of the sales of these vehicles; Europe follows, which sold some 388,000 units, thus exceeding sales in North America.

Although the United States and Canada are the countries that sell electric vehicles the most on the continent, Latin America has been paying great attention to the evolution of electric mobility on the planet, with several countries in the region progressively incorporating electric options even for public transport .

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