Costa Rica, the Central American republic known for its ecotourism, is now turning its attention to electric mobility. It is a nation which prides at being the only country where 98 % of the electricity need is met by clean and renewable energy. The country currently has only 600 electric cars as compared to 1.4 million private vehicles owned by Costa Ricans. Although a miniscule number, Costa Rica’s electric institute director, Bernal Munoz, insists that even 600 cars is a positive growth as the number has doubled since 2017. University of Costa Rica estimates that there would be 40,000 electric vehicles in the country in next five years.
Costa Rican architect and city planner, Claudia Dobles, who also happens to be the First Lady of the Republic is in charge of the urban renovation mission which includes transport modernization. The government is on a mission to convert Costa Rica into a role model for decarbonized economy and electronic transport will play a key role in this model. One of the first decisions of President Carlos Alvarado after assuming officewas to kick start a program on making Costa Rica a decarbonized economy.
The government has since introduced tax exemptions for electric vehicles. Transport companies are looking to introduce electric buses but the government has currently chosen to focus only on electric cars. 40 recharging stations network are in plansto be started throughout the country, with 8 recharging stations to be launched every year from 2019. Other Latin American countries are following suit with Paraguay inaugurating its Project ‘Green Mile’ which includes electric rapid-charging stations for over 600 miles of road.
The government’s initiative has been welcomed positively by various sections of the society. Roberto Quiros, a resident of the country, said after replacinghis two vehicles with electric cars, his petrol bill of $233 reduced to only $50. Ecologically, as well as economically, the shift to e-mobility is a win-win deal.
The e-mobility project has certainly added a new feather in the cap for the country’s ecological paradise reputation. Costa Rica is one of the few countries that has pursued decarbonization despite not receiving much support from global leaders. It has managed to successfully fulfill targets as negotiated in the Paris Climate Deal. The country is in talks with UN to host annual UN Climate Talks due in 2019, where the country plans to showcase the decarbonization Plan to the world at the summit.
[RP1]This looks abrupt and out of context. That’s why I have deleted it.