Paving the way for electric mobility in Brazil: the construction of the National Roadmap for Infrastructure as a driver for the market, policies and new technologies

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Brussels (2023)


Brazilian Electric Mobility, Charging Infrastructure, energy sector, regulation, Roadmap


Advances in emission regulations, the climate change agenda and the effects of oil prices fluctuations are forcing the mobility industry towards new products programs that uses new technologies to increase the energy efficiency of vehicles and reduce CO2 emissions (Freyssenet, 2013).
Among the technological paths for the automotive industry in this context, the Electric Vehicles (EVs) are highlighted as promising technological systems to mobility transition scenario.
Then, the “electrification” of the automotive industry is gaining traction rapidly: the global fleet of electric passenger cars reached nearly 16 million in January/ 2022. In 2021, electric car sales represented 6.6 million, achieving around 9% of the global car market that represents three times the share of 2020 (International Energy Agency (IEA), 2022).
This changing landscape (Geels, 2002) creates windows of opportunities for companies and nations, which, if well exploited, imply endogenous development cycles and establish virtuous trajectories in a "new" industry (Lee and Malerba, 2017). The opposite is also true: not taking advantage of this right set of circumstances may lead territories and companies to a non-competitive peripheral condition.
As regards the e-mobility discussion in the Brazilian auto industry, the federal government and the automotive industry have not taken a position regarding the participation of local firms in the e-mobility segment (Barassa et al., 2022; Consoni, 2022).
However, decisions and local strategic positioning must be taken quickly, once the Brazilian automotive sector is characterized as a tactical and very important sector for the generation of employment, which provides a significant proportion of national revenue. The Brazilian automotive industry is composed of nearly 31 carmakers, 500 auto parts, 5.533 dealers and 64 production plants.
Seeking the continuity of investments and sustained growth, the Brazilian automotive industry must define its roles in this “e-mob industry” that is undergoing and scaling up worldwide. In 2018, there were initiatives to advance discussions on this topic, with the development of a "Technological Roadmap for Light Electric Vehicles in Brazil" that provided a guide for considering Brazil's position in the context of electric mobility (Consoni et al., 2019). Although a diagnosis supported the development of strategic actions for Brazil and guided the formulation of Brazilian public policy for electrification in the country, we noticed few advances in this discussion. In essence, there is no clear indication of how the future for this industry would look like in the country, which hinders the actions that could be taken by the government and stakeholders interested in the diffusion of e-mob technologies in the Brazilian territory.
Despite these uncertainties that involves the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and auto parts, one can highlight the efforts and investments for electric mobility that have been carried out by another sector: the Brazilian Energy Sector (utilities and energy generators).
A peculiarity that makes the Brazilian electric sector prone for the development of new technologies is the law 9.991/2000 regulated by ANEEL (energy regulation agency) which established that 1% of the electric companies’ income must be invested in Research and Development (R&D) projects. In the context of this regulatory framework, ANEEL launched a Strategic Call for projects in 2018, specifically for e-mobility projects, aiming to develop new business models and EV local competencies, resulting in more than EUR 100 million in investments (ANEEL, 2019). This regulation was essential to fund e-mobility projects and overcome the Covid-19 economic impacts. While many Brazilian industries had their investments affected by the pandemic, the energy companies, guided by the Strategic Call projects, were able to bypass the crisis, keeping EV investments and projects running.
In the scope of these investments, the infrastructure sector for electric vehicles evolved in the country between 2020 and 2022, jumping to more than 1,500 charging stations, including the offering of EV fast charging stations in strategic corridors in Brazil. In addition, other infrastructure investments are upcoming, adding more than 10,000 recharge stations for the next 5 years.
Considering the absence of a “future vision” for the sector in the country, it has become imperative to take advantage of Strategic Call investments to build up a national plan that guides the development of the sector. Thus, based on the ANEEL regulator articulation, together National Platform for Electric Mobility (PNME) and Brazilian Association of Automotive Engineering (AEA), we built the first National Roadmap for EV infrastructure along 2021/2022. In this paper, we summarize the methodological procedures and results of a technology roadmap (TRM) carried out in 2021 for the potential EV infrastructure in Brazil.
The main objective of the TRM is to construct a strategic plan for the development and implementation of the charging infrastructure in Brazil considering the 10 years’ timeframe (2023-2033). For that purpose, a framework was designed to support the analyzes and understanding of recharge infrastructure enablers in Brazil. This was achieved by the references review that reveled the proper aspects concerning the main topics approached in roadmaps and similar documents from other countries (California ISO, 2014; IEA, 2014; National and Mobility, 2020; International Energy Agency (IEA), 2021).
Four enablers’ categories have been defined to conduct the discussion: (i) revenue models, considering possibilities of selling electricity at recharging stations, especially to public stations; (ii) products and services, highlighting the value chain; (iii) technologies, focusing the discussion on the interoperability and the smart charging; and (iv) regulation, addressing the use of communication protocols and other government actions that may be relevant to the charging infrastructure.
We then conducted a prospective methodology based on energy roadmap guides (Phaal, 2004; International Energy Agency (IEA), 2009; IEA, 2014). This methodology was applied to set the electrification future vision up to 2033. In order to construct the future vision and proposed scenario, we: (1) collected insights from stakeholders and experts, (2) analyzed the global path/trends of technology and (3) conducted a foresight study through local experts. Based on this approach, we identified the main barriers and opportunities that a infrastructure ecosystem may face, which allowed us to suggest actions to be taken by local government and stakeholders.
Considering the contribution of more than 50 stakeholders, the future vision built up for the sector was stated such as: “Interoperable, intelligent, integrated and sustainable charging infrastructure for electric mobility modals, with legal security and transparent legislation and regulation, ensuring a competitive value chain that offers innovative products and services to new consumers”. This statement is going to guide the actors’ actions for the next ten years, reflecting the path that the sector it is willing to track.
Concerning the barriers and opportunities analysis, those barriers that could block the advance of these technologies were identified. The main examples of blocking mechanisms are related to the difficulties observed in the regulation field. The stakeholders pointed out that lack of legal security environment for electric mobility in Brazil. Other topics such as macroeconomic and political instability or the absence of a robust policy to boost the sector were also mentioned.
Additionally, main opportunities were outlined, mainly related to players and companies already installed in Brazil that have the competencies to provide competitive products and services in the local market. Moreover, it was identified that planning and organizing the infrastructure could be a “big push” for the EV market, including the new public policies design and a clearer direction of Brazil in this trajectory.
Practical implications demonstrate that the roadmap process engaged stakeholders from different spheres (government, academy, and industry) and served as a platform to enable the actor’s matchmaking and design new business and partnerships, becoming a strong driver for promoting innovation towards electrification in Brazil. For this purpose, it’s imperative that future vision reached must be fully connected and coupled into the government strategic planning and by the market actors related to.
Keywords: Roadmap. Brazilian Electric Mobility. Regulation. Charging Infrastructure. Energy Sector.

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