Saturday, December 4

Electric mobility feels like a reality

After a broad process of discussion, on October 27, Bill No. 162 was approved in a third debate, which encourages electric mobility in land transportation, after it was presented for consideration by the National Assembly on September 16, 2019.

With the approval of the Executive, our country will have a regulatory framework for the development and operation of electric mobility, promoting a process of transition from internal combustion transport to electric land transport, taking into account measures and incentives to promote its implementation.

Said standard will establish the main parameters that will allow the development and operation of electric mobility, leveraging the energy transformation process and the commitments acquired by Panama by being a subscriber to the Paris Agreement, seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of of renewable energies as a tool to support this transition.

With this standard, a scheme is defined to achieve a staggered transition for the replacement of administrative fleets of public, autonomous or semi-autonomous institutions ofl National Government, complying with the progressive introduction of electric vehicles, achieving at least a 40% migration of the fleet by 2030.

For its part, Transit and Land Transportation Authority, It should also establish a process of progressive replacement of mass transport concessions and certificates of operation of collective and selective public transport, towards electric transport systems, waiting for the year 2030, a migration of at least 33% of the electric fleet.

As part of this transition process, it is contemplated that residential and commercial real estate projects will be able to enable electrical wiring outlets, thereby enabling the installation of charging stations.

Also, in the case of new development projects, the construction plans are required to include, at a minimum, a charging station for electric vehicles, which must comply with current regulations.

An important point to observe are the charging stations, as they represent the infrastructure necessary for the supply of energy for the charging of electric vehicles and a key enabler for this transition process.

In this sense, the norm contemplates the promotion by the municipalities for the inclusion of charging stations and the issuance of construction permits for residential and commercial buildings and public institutions.

Likewise, the possibility of installing renewable energy generation plants as an alternative to charging stations is also foreseen, in addition to particular considerations for the operation and commercialization of the service.

As an incentive, there is an exemption from the payment of vehicle license plate procedures for electric vehicles for a period of 5 years, as well as an exemption from the selective consumption tax rate until December 31, 2030 and an application of a 5% rate applicable from January 2031.

Many relevant terms and conditions are yet to be defined and will be visible through a regulation that must be issued within a period of 6 months from the entry into force of the Law.

Meanwhile, it is important to promote the development of suitable infrastructure and user awareness for the reduction of greenhouse gases and the tangible benefit that the use of renewable sources brings for sustainable mobility.

Although the correct application and development of this regulation will entail an important effort, it should be sought at all times to unite the various sectors that impact this public policy to guide them towards this common goal and make it a reality.

Mariel Diaz
[email protected].

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