The first completely electric car to come to Argentina has already disembarked in Port Zárate, as reported by Autoblog. The vehicles manufactured by the Chinese brand Baic will set a landmark in the Argentine car industry, which is currently struggling to take off due to high tariffs and rising petrol prices.
Baic’s new sub, dubbed EX 260, shares the same body as its petrol-powered twin X25 but comes with a 72 horsepower electric engine instead. At first sight, the vehicle seems revolutionary for a local market that is far behind from adapting to new state-of-the-art technologies like autonomous driving, which sooner than later will become the new normal in North America, Europe, and Asia.
The five-door sub delivers up to 250 kilometers of driving range on a six-hour charge, although it is limited to a top speed of 125 km/h. In essence, great for the city, but not the best vehicle for road-trip enthusiasts considering the lack of charging points in the country.
Argentina is the most expensive country in Latin America to buy a car, with the same vehicles costing almost double as in neighbor countries. The tax burden on a locally manufactured vehicle stays at 55 percent, while imported cars coming from countries other than Mexico and Brazil must pay a 35 percent tariff. Early in 2017, Argentina reduced import duties for electric and hybrid vehicles to less than five percent, maybe as a way to set in motion a stagnant market that just started gaining relevance after the country confirmed its commitment to the Paris Agreement.
The EX 260 will hit the Argentine roads for a base price of U.S. $44,400, which is the standard for similar SUVs in the market, such as the Ford S-Max. Putting aside some brand peculiarities and tech specs, the electric nature of the Chinese vehicle might seduce budget-conscious consumers who are already betting on a more sustainable lifestyle.
After the petrol prices increase last month, riding an average car that consumes 8 liters of petrol per every 100 kilometers costs something of AR $180. In contrast, charging an electric vehicle at home to ride that distance would cost around AR $20 pesos, according to an analysis conducted by Parabrisas.
The Argentine energy company YPF is already installing more than 200 electric car chargers in almost 110 Buenos Aires and La Plata filling stations, which are expected to be available for public use during the first quarter of the year.
In accordance with the Paris Agreement goals which seek to bring down Earth temperatures to pre-industrial levels, lawmakers around the world are already working on new strategies to ban petrol cars. China and Germany have been the last to suggest an upcoming prohibition on gas and diesel-fueled vehicles, while the Netherlands, Norway, France and the United Kingdom have already announced their plans to halt production of petrol cars between 2025 and 2040.
And if spending US $44,400 to ride an electric car
is impossible because you’re poor wasn’t one of your New Year’s resolutions, riding a bike to work or to school is still one of the most efficient, cheap and eco-friendly alternatives to move through the humming Buenos Aires streets. You do you, dude.