The energy transition of the automotive industry is decreed. The adoption of electrified vehicles will come, sooner in some countries and later in others, and will prevail over models with combustion engines.
During 2020 in Argentina the sale of electrified vehicles increased by 53.9% compared to 2019 sales.
But despite significant growth, the Argentine market still still boy in comparison with what happens in other countries, both in hybrid vehicles (they combine a combustion engine with an electric one) and especially in 100% electric vehicles.
The Renault Kangoo ZE was the first electric that was officially presented in our country, in 2018.
Last year in Argentina a total of 2,383 electrified units, of which only 39 move using exclusively the energy accumulated by their batteries when they are plugged in, according to the dealers association (ACARA). The rest are hybrids.
This year, “mild-hybrid” vehicles were also added to the list. Also known as 48-volt hybrids, this is a combustion engine model that is added with a small battery and a belt-mounted starter generator instead of the alternator. This allows reducing consumption and emissions but they do not have enough energy to make trips using only electricity.
Anyway, the ones that finished at the top of the ranking are conventional hybrids. The one that sold the most during 2020 was the electrified version of the Toyota Corolla, with 884 units, followed closely by another model of the Japanese brand, the SUV RAV-4, of which 721 vehicles were registered.
The Toyota Corolla hybrid has no aesthetic differences with the conventional one.
Toyota has been leading this technology for years worldwide and also ratifies it in our market, as it offers two other hybrid models (Prius and C-HR) and 8 other options through its luxury brand, Lexus.
The third step of the podium among the most patented electrified vehicles during the past year appears the Ford Kuga, with 213 registrations, an SUV that since 2020 has sold only with this type of engine.
Among those that are exclusively electric, the model that sold the most units was the Renault Kangoo ZE, with 19 vehicles. It was the first model of these characteristics that was put on sale in the Argentine market, in 2018.
The Ford Kuga now comes only with hybrid technology.
The rhombus brand will continue to expand its electrical outpost in Argentina (in the world it is one of the most sold) and in 2021 it will bring the Zoe, a compact model that at times in 2020 was the best-selling electric vehicle in Europe.
The other 100% electric model that registered sales in the country was the Nissan Leaf, a midsize car of which 12 units were patented.
The Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-tron are other electric models that are already available in our market but for now no unit has been patented.
Among the records also appear the models of Sero Electric, an Argentine company that manufactures its models in the town of Morón, province of Buenos Aires.
Part of the key that electric cars had to develop in other markets had to do with economic incentives, both on the sale price and on other services such as parking and tolls, since it is still an expensive technology.
The Audi e-tron was the last electric to appear in our market, during December.
At the same time, penalties were added to internal combustion models with taxes based on their pollution levels.
Some countries have done it more aggressively than others, to the point that Norway, for example, became the first country in 2020 where more electric vehicles are sold than with internal combustion engines.
In Argentina there are some incentives. For example, and given that all electrified vehicles offered in the country are produced outside Mercosur, the import tariff, which should be 35%, is 5% for hybrids and 2% for pure electric ones.
However, that benefit is received by the brand and is not obliged to transfer it directly to the final price. In addition, the Government assigns an amount earmarked for these imports which, once covered, must wait for a new quota to be assigned since it is not automatically renewed.
The benefit that some users do have, in addition to a much lower cost per kilometer, occurs in the city of Buenos Aires, Neuquén and Río Grande, where electrified vehicles are exempt from paying a license. In Mendoza they pay only 50%.