JORGE BURBANO

Ecuador 2020 | GREEN ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Jorge Burbano, Country Manager of BYD, on efficiency, tax incentives for electric vehicles, and public transport.

Jorge Burbano
BIOGRAPHY

Jorge Burbano is Country Manager of BYD.

Ecuador is putting an electric mobility plan in place to make transport more efficient. As an electric vehicle provider, how is BYD enabling this transition?

BYD is a leader on a global scale in producing and commercializing e-vehicles. The company is in Ecuador because the country has one of the highest potentials for electrical mobility. 90% of electricity generation is through hydropower plants, and there are ongoing projects in solar and wind. On top of that, fuel is heavily subsidized. As a result, there is room for the development of electrical mobility options as an energy-efficient transport means. While electric cars are becoming a trend worldwide, in Ecuador the first adopters have been private taxi and bus entities with strong governmental support, with cities like Guayaquil adopting an electric bus fleet, Loja giving incentives for taxi drivers that opt for electric vehicles, or Cuenca establishing electric bikes stations. In addition, Ecuador has 0% VAT for e-vehicles, as well as other 0% sales taxes for batteries and other input, which together create a solid ecosystem for the development of this new trend. However, oil subsides still make the alternative a cheaper option, despite its costs on the environment and society. If these subsides were used for electric mobility, they would definitely help popularize it, not to mention generate revenue for the government, as subsidized diesel would no longer be needed.

Which projects serve as first examples of electric mobility adoption in Ecuador?

Thanks to the tax incentive scheme for electric vehicles, we are working with the city of Guayaquil, for example, to provide 200 new e-taxis. BYD built the largest public battery charger in the country, and there are plans to build up to 30 more across the country before 2020. The city already has a fleet of 20 electric buses. This transition in Guayaquil has also received great financial support, especially from the Corporación Financiera Nacional, which see in electromobility a cleaner and smarter transport system, and the City Hall of Guayaquil, which has a special economic incentive program. Electric buses tend to reduce maintenance and operational costs by 76%. Additionally, a single diesel bus generates emissions of about 90 tons of CO2 per years, while electric buses are emissions-free.