MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (ViaNews) – The city capital of Montevideo, Uruguay, lived an intense and significant week welcoming an unprecedented event to the city and the region. The FIA Mobility Conference 2018 hosted by the Automóvil Club del Uruguay (ACU) a member of the Federation Internationale De L´Automobile (FIA) that is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Also present was the FIA Region IV President, Jorge Tomasi Crisci.
According to the United Nations (Department of Economic and Social Affairs), one in five people worldwide lives in a city with more than 1 million inhabitants. Montevideo houses almost 42% of the country´s population, over 1.3 million people. Uruguay is a small country with a population over 3.4 million inhabitants, and since 2010 has begun giving its steps towards electric mobility, and never looked back.
The Uruguayan city welcomed an event that would reunite 160 delegates from 65 countries, participating in a series of International workshops, panels of discussions. and activities related to the mobility landscape.
The key meetings started on Monday at “The 20th FIA Congress of Americas for Sport and Mobility”, under the Forum “Movernos Seguros” (Safe Mobility).
The 100 participants attending to the Congress had the opportunity to discuss topics in the region across both sport and mobility.
“Movernos Seguros” is a project the FIA has been working along the IDB, in an effort to diminish the loss of lives in Latin American roads.
“This is the tenth Americas Congress I have had the pleasure of attending, and to see so many representatives here is very encouraging,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “This annual congress is fundamental. I especially appreciate the opportunity it provides for us to meet and hear about the news and progress as well as challenges of the Clubs, and together to think of the future of motor sport and mobility,” he added.
The FIA Americas Awards 2018
In the evening, The FIA Americas Awards Gala followed. This event highlights the dedication, effort, and results, of young talents in the motor sport, as well as relevant figures to the motor sport and road safety areas, governmental and non-governmental organizations.
In this framework, the state-owned electric power company of Uruguay (UTE) was recognized by the Federation Internationale De L´Automobile (FIA) for its program of electric mobility and care for the environment, winning the Award for the Best National Sustainable Mobility Initiatives in the Mobility category.
One of the many young talents awarded that evening is the Argentinian driver Facundo Ardusso, 2017 Super TC2000 Champion with Renault Fluence.
The 26th FIA Annual Conference for Mobility 2018
Under the theme “Mobility in Transformation” and as part of his opening speech, FIA President Jean Todt stated:
“I have a vision: the future of mobility can be summed up in three words: safer, cleaner, smarter. And I have a conviction: In these conditions, mobility is changing, and that is a good thing. Our focus is also changing – we represent not just the automobile, but everything that will make our roads safer for all users.
So this Mobility Conference provides a great opportunity to follow our work on important issues, including data access, environmental performance, congestion in cities, road safety and opportunities for strengthened collaboration between Member Clubs.
It’s important to see this in the context of the strategy that we are pursuing in road safety and sustainable mobility.”
The FIA President announced that the 2019 edition, will take place in South Africa.
First Montevideo e-Mobility and Smart Cities Forum in Uruguay
FIA President, Jean Todt had a busy agenda all week. On Thursday, he concluded The 26th FIA Annual Conference for Mobility 2018 to then be present in the official inauguration of the first Montevideo e-Mobility, and Smart Cities Forum of the country.
Mr. Felipe Calderón FIA Environment and Sustainability Commission President and former President of Mexico, hosted the last discussion of the week, under the theme “Smart Mobility in Cities of the Future”.
Panelists included Jean Todt, FIA President, Daniel Martínez, Mayor of Montevideo, Carolina Cosse Garrido, Uruguay’s Minister of Industries, Energy, and Mining, Gonzalo Casaravilla, President of UTE Uruguay, Jorge Tomasi Crisci, President of the Automóvil Club del Uruguay and FIA Region IV President and the IDB representative in Uruguay, Morgan Doyle.
“There are two big issues — one is to make mobility in cities feasible and practical — we are struggling with congestion in big cities all over the world, and this needs to be addressed urgently. Then, we must make sure that the vehicles are environmentally friendly. For this, the electric car is absolutely essential.” said Jean Todt.
Daniel Martínez Mayor of Montevideo talked to the media about renewable energy and transportation. He highlighted the importance of renewable energy for public transportation in Uruguay would be, as batteries can be charged during the night while there is an excedent of renewable energy, to then use it when needed the most, during the day. He also said that it’s fundamental to start thinking about shared mobility. A form of mobility that some countries around the globe have already started to test.
“A while ago we were in Shenzhen (China) a city where the law establishes that more than 90 percent of public transportation has to be electric, and so it is. The world is moving towards this.
The Government and the Municipality, in particular, have been giving signs, including economic ones in the form of fiscal incentives in favor of the development of electric transportation.
We are committed to this goal, constantly learning from what the world is showing us, from what it is showing us here, today.”
When asked about his own experience with electric cars he answered: “My personal experience is magnificent. For two years now, I have an electric car and it couldn´t be any better. It´s comfortable, makes no noise at all, the car has a great autonomy, it´s fantastic,” Martínez added.
The Mayor also announced a new plan with the goal of reaching 300 electric taxis in the city of Montevideo until 2020 (today there are 24 environmentally friendly taxis in the city) and the development of new technology that allows users to have a better access to information about the public transportation services at the palm of their hands, in their smartphones.
Minister of Industry, Carolina Cosse explained that “Thanks to the change in the electricity matrix, Uruguay can pose the challenge of transforming transport, which is the sector with the highest consumption of fossil fuels,” The Minister stressed that UTE, the national government and the Municipality of Montevideo are working on the elaboration of regulatory and tax changes that stimulate the development of electric transport, and cited as an example the reduction of the specific domestic tax (Imesi) and the income tax for economic activities (IRAE) for hybrid and electric cars, as well as the exoneration of the global rate in order to promote importation.
“We are looking to generate as much stimulus as possible, both in exonerations and in politics,” Cosse said, adding that the goal is also to achieve a “good model” in Montevideo, to replicate throughout the country.
At the “Smart Mobility in Cities of the Future” forum, President of UTE, Gonzalo Casaravilla, stated that, if all of Uruguay’s mobility fleet were electric, it would only represent a 20% increase in the demand of energy.
Casaravilla anticipated that by the end of the year, Uruguay will have a charging point in all major cities.
The IDB representative in Uruguay, Morgan Doyle affirmed that the advances in clean technology and reduction of costs, associated with electric transport, will be fundamental to the future as it battles one of the main problems in the cities of the region and worldwide, air pollution and associated with it, climate change.
He emphasized that our region has “an extraordinary base to implement electromobility, the cleanest energy matrix in the world,” he added.
And talked about the work the IDB has been doing, along with the Government of Costa Rica, using clean energies towards transportation.
In that sense, Morgan said that Costa Rica and Uruguay share the extraordinary distinction of having one of the cleanest electric platforms in the world, “that is something that must be recognized both to Uruguay and Costa Rica,” he added.
FIA Smart Cities Award
Once the “Smart Mobility in Cities of the Future” forum concluded, Jean Todt, FIA President, ACU President and FIA Region IV President Jorge Tomasi Crisci proceded to announce Season 2 FIA Smart Cities Award winner.
Launched in 2017, the second edition invited all cities hosting a Formula E round in Season 4 to present a project for the development of sustainable mobility through innovative policies and/or services.
The winner is the city of Santiago de Chile, for its contribution to the development and innovation of mobility systems with its “Plan Integral de Santiago” which comprises accessibility, cycling, and underground plans, centering in the quality of life.
The Head of Public Security and Order of Santiago de Chile, Soledad Perez was present to receive the Award in Montevideo.
The First Montevideo e-Mobility and Smart Cities Forum in Uruguay opened its gates to the public on Friday with a series of cars, motorcycles and electric bicycles.
The visitors will have the chance to know more about how an electric vehicle works and even test-drive some of the cars until Sunday.
Renault is present with its units ZOE and Twizy, Tesla with its Model S, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Peugeot are among the brands participating in the Forum.
Uruguay: On the road to an electrified present and future
Renewable energy sources represent more than 90% of the country´s power generation matrix.
In 2015, the city capital introduced its first four electric taxis.
Nowadays, there are twenty-four electric taxis in Montevideo with an urban autonomy of 350km/h, and a maximum speed of 140km/h.
The charging time from 0 to 100 is estimated to take 2 hours.
In 2016, the city received its first electric bus, this week, the first hybrid bus has been introduced to the population as well.
Back in December 2017, we reported the pioneering role of Uruguay, as the country launched the first electrified route in Latin America.
The electrified highway expands for 300km with a charging station for electric vehicles, within a distance of 60 to 70km from each other, between the cities of Colonia del Sacramento and Punta del Este (as shown in the picture below).
UTE (state-owned electric company) will continue to expand the route.
2018- Currently, there are thirteen Battery Electric Vehicles for sale in the local market and nine Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles.
In the world, more than 2 million electric cars are already circulating, adding pure electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrids.
Overall, the event was considered “wonderful” by the FIA who gave its farewell to the country with a warm ¡Gracias, Uruguay! (Thank you, Uruguay!).