European Commission officials would be developing a plan to provide electric buses to Latin American countries in exchange for access to lithium supplies. The news is reported on Bloomberg, that quotes “people familiar with the plan”.

This plan would be part of the EU’s broader strategy called the Global Gateway, a 300 million euros initiative with goal of boosting smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors.

EU Commission plan for e-buses in Latin America

The Latin America e-bus market is achieving high figures. To be in line with the City Climate Law and the chronogram for electric bus deployment, the operators of São Paulo in Brazil will need to incorporate about 2,600 electric buses until the end of 2024. Santiago de Chile is the city with more e-buses in operation outside of China. Chinese Yutong, BYD, Foton are among the main players in the local markets so far.

What about plans of EU manufacturers in the region so far? Scania is adopting an electric bus model to the local Mexican market, the Brazilian company Eletra is investing into a plant to manufacture 1,800 electric buses a year and Mercedes-Benz announced orders for their electric bus chassis in Brazil. Iveco Bus has also plans for Latin America, starting with providing the eDaily. Volvo has just launched a locally-built e-bus.

Now, according to Bloomberg, “The 27-nation bloc plans to invest around 10 billion euros in projects across Latin America and the Caribbean, with additional contributions coming from the Member States bilaterally and the private sector. EU’s ambitious green goals are dependent on obtaining a large amount of minerals, including lithium whose demand is projected to surge 12 times by 2030 and 20 times by 2050”.


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