Fuel economy standards and zero-emission vehicle targets in Chile
This policy update summarizes the steps taken by Chile in relation to its new energy efficiency law and its targets for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), and it analyzes the implications of these two policies for the decarbonization of fleets regionally and internationally.
In recent years, Chile has created several public policies for clean transportation. Chile’s leadership is notable both in Latin America and internationally; it arguably has the potential to inspire similar climate policies in other countries. Particularly noteworthy are Chile’s energy efficiency law and its zero-emission sales targets. The law not only sets stringent fuel economy standards for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles––a first for Latin America––but also includes tax incentives for zero-emission vehicles, provides for interoperability of recharging systems for EVs, and designates hydrogen as an official fuel. The zero-emission sales targets will be in effect for all types of on- and off-road vehicles by 2045, which is an especially important achievement.
The Chilean government has many pending tasks on the path to achieving these ambitious goals. For example, while the efficiency standards for light-duty vehicles have been defined, the standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles have not; it will be important to define them without delay. It will be necessary for manufacturers to comply with the new standards in the period described, and to guarantee interoperability of charging infrastructure across a growing number of manufacturers and vehicles. Another critical issue for Chile is to promote equitable access to EV charging infrastructure. Chile must also think beyond 2030, when the current defined standards for light-duty vehicles cease to increase in stringency. Once in place, standards for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles will need to become stricter to reduce the percentage of internal combustion vehicles projected to be on the road until at least 2045, and to gradually phase out internal combustion vehicles completely.