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Argentina to expand EV imports, charging network

Tariffs to be cut on selected brands, as ABB and YPF lead a build out of fast chargers

Argentina is to reduce import taxes on EVs and expand access to fast-chargers across the country as part of efforts to increase low-carbon transport.

Currently taxes on imported electric vehicles and hybrids are around 35%. According to a report by La Nacion, the Argentine government is to lower these to around 2% for pure EVs and 5% for hybrids, in a bid to increase uptake. Importers will be subject to a quota of 6,000 vehicles over three years, although the government may grant extensions, depending on the how the market responds.

There is speculation that President Mauricio Macri will officially make the announcement at the opening of the Buenos Aires Motor Show on June 9.

That said, any form of positive response will be an improvement in a country whose EV uptake has been virtually non-existent. According to the newspaper, only 270 Toyota Prius hybrids have been sold in country since its introduction in 2009 – yet this is still the leading electric brand.

However, the tariffs will only be offered to brands already approved in Argentina. The report lists: Agrale, FCA (Fiat and Chrysler), Ford, General Motors (Chevrolet), Honda, Iveco, Mercedez-Benz, Nissan, PSA (Peugeot, Citroën, and DS), Ralitor (JMC, DFM, Foton, Baic, and Kandi), Renault, Scania, Toyota (including the Lexus), Volkswagen (including Audi and Seat), and Zanell.

One EV leader in particular is a notable omission….

The move also follows a deal struck with BYD earlier this year, for the supply of 50 new electric buses.

Observers have noted that while import tariff reductions are a start, more will need to be done to encourage uptake, pointing to the subsidies, tax incentives and other consumer benefits in the US, China and Europe.

That said, measures are being taken to bolster infrastructure. A new project led by YPF (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales), ABB and QEV will see the installation of 220 DC fast-charging points at fuel stations across the country.

According to ABB, 110 will be deployed in the project’s initial phase, with the first stations installed by QEV Argentina in June or July along the highway that connects Buenos Aires with the coastal city of La Plata.

Paolo Pescali, Lead Division manager for ABB’s Electrification Products division in South America, said: “As a leader in EV charging we are proud to be a part of bringing our technology across Argentina to drive adoption of cleaner mobility.”

Chargers will be compatible with the three main systems on the market – CCS, CHadeMo and AC.


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