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Electrolineras are growing in the country thanks to a still small but promising market for electric cars

Service electrolineras -electric vehicle charging stations- is growing little by little, hand in hand with the increase in the number of electric vehicles. The electric stations are located in traditional fuel service stations, in vehicle dealerships, in public parking lots, bus stations, among others. These electrolineras that are called Fast charging can complete the charge in 30 to 40 minutes, so they will normally be linked to some place to wait, eat or distract.

The Association of Automotive Companies of Ecuador (Aeade) has mapped the existence of charging stations in the country and, according to these data, there are 37 of them: 17 in Guayaquil, 16 in Quito, 2 in Galapagos and 2 in Loja.

Although the sale of electric vehicles has grown significantly in recent years at the percentage level, the number of units is still incipient. For example, in 2019 the sale of electric cars reported by the Association of Automotive Companies of Ecuador (Aeade) was 103 units, but by 2022 405 have already been sold: 211 SUVs, 99 cars, 52 vans, 41 vans and 2 trucks. The sales of these vehicles were higher by 282.1% comparing 2020 with 2022 and 16.4% comparing 2021 with 2022.

Thus, a fossil fuel trader that is currently betting on the energy transition is Terpel, which already has two electric stations in operation located in Guayaquil: one on Avenida del Bombero and another on Avenida de Las Américas, at the same Terpel gas stations. It also prepares the inauguration of a third electric station in Quito.

These currently work as a self-service and free of charge. But the final touches are already being made to a digital application that will be used to reserve appointments and that will allow a charge for the service. Terpel’s idea is to grow and extend the service to the provinces in order to make travel around Ecuador possible, without any risk. The reference value of energy is much less than what could be used in a fossil fuel vehicle.

Find out how much it costs to ‘tank’ a car in the new Terpel Voltex electric station in Guayaquil

On the other hand, vehicle dealers that market electric cars typically sell the cars with their own “electrolinera” or slow charge charger that is installed in each home. These can fully charge the vehicle in about 8 hours, that is, while its owner sleeps. The full charge lasts for about 400 kilometers, so there is no problem for commuting in the city. However, if the car runs out of battery and can no longer reach its destination, the fast charging charging stations (which take about 40 minutes) are very useful, which is why several dealerships also offer this service.

José Garzón, manager of Electromotors, an electromobility company, that is to say, it sells only electric vehicles, including trucks, vans, cargo vans and light cars, he explains that his dealership has charging stations that can be used by the vehicles they sell, at no cost. At the moment, two are fully operational: one is in Quito, the other in Guayaquil. There is another in Santo Domingo that will be inaugurated in two weeks and a fourth in Riobamba, at the end of this month.

He comments that these cars are widely accepted by the public, due to their autonomy, maintenance costs are lower because they are done every six months, they are not spent on filters or oils, and they do not have peak and plate restrictions. Additionally, and very importantly, the energy they use is cheaper and has zero emissions into the environment. “Our clients are people who want to get out of fossil fuels and take care of the planet,” he says.

According to Garzón, the difference The price between a charge of electric energy for a combustion vehicle versus an electric one is 8 to 1. If $20 is charged in a car, the rate for an electric car would cost $2.50, generating a saving of $17.5, he says. Garzón adds that those who have an electric car can process a subsidy on the electric bill at the electric company.

He also explains that the batteries of the cars that they sell are long-lasting and that the commercial house gives them a 500,000 km guarantee for the battery: “that is, it can cover a usage time of 16 to 20 years,” he says.

The Electromotors dealership offers free charging for its vehicles at its facilities. Photo: Courtesy Electromotors

For Garzón, the greatest future use of the charging stations will be, depending on their location, in the provincial unions.

Pablo Luna, general manager of German Motors, importer of Audi for Ecuador, he explains that his dealer gives customers a slow charger for home or office along with the vehicle, but in case they need an emergency charge they can come to the offices of Quito and Guayaquil, where fast charging chargers exist. However, he says that it has almost never or never happened that a vehicle gets to recharge, because with slow chargers they are supplied for at least 400 kilometers. For Luna, these vehicles are currently used within the city, they are clearly urban. In this way, uploads can be done once a week or more.

Meanwhile, In mid-January 2023, Marvel R Electric -a second-generation, high-tech, 100% electric SUV launched by MG- became the first vehicle in this category in the country to travel the Guayaquil – Quito route by land. On its maiden voyage on Saturday, January 14, the Marvel R traveled for approximately 8 hours, with a one-hour technical stop to recharge energy in the city of Santo Domingo.

There are other actors, who advance but more slowly. For example, Wilmer Naranjo, executive president of the Petróleos y Servicios marketer, comments that this fuel marketer such as gasoline and diesel has a plan to create charging stations, but in the future. He says they will wait for the electric car market to expand, as it is still very small.

Meanwhile, Empresa Eléctrica Quito maintains a system of charging stations, but for its own consumption. The EEQ has 24 electric vans that are used to carry out operational work throughout the EEQ concession area. Additionally, it is in the awarding process for the purchase of 20 double-cab electric vans and it is planned to purchase an additional batch of electric vans during the year 2023.

Empresa Eléctrica Quito has self-consumption charging stations for its 100% electric vehicles. Courtesy. EQE Photo: The Universe

For the Electric Company, there has been a notable growth in the demand and adoption of electric vehicles, as well as a greater offer from car manufacturers.

The company considered through an official statement that the growth in demand must go hand in hand with fast charging and slow charging stations, which is why the EEQ the installation of 11 electric vehicle recharging equipment is about to be completed, strategically located in their operational centers and agencies, in compliance with the applicable regulations, within the coverage area of ​​the company. (YO)

Source: Eluniverso


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