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Image courtesy of Mario Duran Ortiz


Costa Rica Reached Highest EV Market Share In The Americas In 2022

Costa Rica retained its leadership position within the Latin American region in 2022 with a record market share of 7.3% for the all-electric light passenger vehicle segment (cars, sport utility vehicles, and pickup trucks). As illustrated in the chart above, the BEV¹ uptake in Costa Rica also exceeded the market shares achieved in Canada (6.1%) and the United States (5.3 %)². Therefore, Costa Rica ranked as the country with the highest market share for the BEV segment in the Americas in 2022.

When accounting for sales of plug-in hybrid cars (PHEV), Costa Rica kept the lead within the Latin American region, but at the continental level, Canada was ahead with a market share of 7.7% for the entire plug-in electric car segment (PEV). Colombia, Brazil, annd Mexico practically double their market shares when PHEVs are considered, but their uptake still remained below 2%. In the case of Uruguay and Costa Rica, the market shares do not vary since sales of plug-in hybrid cars in both countries are negligible er— the existing tax incentive schemes only benefit 100% electric vehicles.

As for other segments, the case of Colombia is worth noting, as 1,006 new 100% electric buses were registered in 2022, thus surpassing Chile as the country with the largest fleet of e-buses in the Americas. However, Bogotá and Santiago continue to be the cities with the largest electric bus fleets outside of China.

Now focusing only on the Latin American region in terms of sales volume, Brazil was the country with the most sales of 100% electric cars (8,458) in 2022, and also the one that sold the most plug-in hybrids (10,348), for a total of 18,806 units. That surpassed Mexico (8,404 PEV sales) by a wide margin. Argentina, despite its large size, sold only 261 all-electric cars. In terms of sales volume in the BEV segment, small Costa Rica is only behind Brazil and Mexico.

All-electric cars in Costa Rica. Image courtesy of Mario Duran Ortiz.

At the end of 2022, there were around 5,300 cars and light commercial vehicles on the road in Costa Rica. Despite the rapid growth and its leadership at a regional and continental level, electric vehicles in use only represent 0.5% of the national stock of light vehicles. There is still a long way to go for Costa Rica and Latin America, and more affordable models are required.

Fully electric car in Costa Rica, Image courtesy of Mario Duran Ortiz

Data sources:

All-electric car in Costa Rica, Image courtesy of Mario Duran Ortiz


¹ Sales in Canada are accounted through September 2022, as data for the full year is not available yet. Sales in Mexico are accounted up until November 2022.

² BEV is the acronym for battery electric vehicle. PHEV is the acronym for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The sum of these two categories is known as plug-in electric vehicles (PEV = BEV + PHEV). This analysis only considers plug-in electric passenger cars (cars, sport utility vehicles, and pickups). Some Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia report sales of conventional hybrids (HEVs) as an integral part of their electric vehicle sales, thus resulting in higher market shares than those shown here. HEVs are not included because this segment of vehicles cannot be recharged by connecting to the electrical grid.

³ Actual sales of light electric vehicles in Costa Rica in 2022 were much higher than registrations reported by the Ministry of the Environment and Energy (1,599 units). The wider than normal gap normal between vehicles sold and registered was due to the hacking of the Ministry of Finance customs systems plus the several months of delay in the entry into force of the updated BEV exemption scheme approved in April 2022.

Originally published By Mario Duran Ortiz for Alemonterotech.

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