Chile is highly vulnerable to climate change due to its low coastline, the snow and glacier regime of its rivers, its temperature and rainfall levels, as well as its ocean waters -which supply the fishing industry, a key resource for the country-. Moreover, the country faces severe impacts on its resources and ecosystems, particularly by its fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, livestock and farming sectors.
In this context, Chile committed to reduce its CO2 emissions by GDP unit by 30% below its 2007 levels by 2030, considering a future economic growth, which allows implementing adequate measures to reach this commitment. In addition, and subject to the availability of international funds, the country committed to reduce its CO2 emission by GDP unit by 2030 until it reaches a 35% to 45% reduction with respect to the 2007 levels. In terms energy, the goal is to generate 45% of all the electricity with renewable sources by 2025.
One third of the final energy consumption in Chile relates to the transport sector, 98% of which corresponds to oil derivatives. Moreover, transport is responsible for about 20% of the total emissions of GHG of the country. This situation raises the urgent need to implement public policies that aim at an efficient use of energy in the transport sector to reduce the effects on the environment, but also to reduce Chile's dependence on imported fuels and the vulnerability that this entails3.
In order to achieve the goals set in its NDCs, Chile defined five basic pillars: i. Mitigation, ii. Adaptation, iii. Capacity Building and Strengthening, iv. Technology Development and Transfer, and v. Financing.
Chile has set the goal of promoting the efficient use of energy, establishing an ambitious goal of 20% reduction in energy demand with respect to that projected for the year 2025. Along with this, the National Energy Policy 2050, launched in December 2015, establishes as one of its guidelines to improve the energy efficiency of vehicles and their operation and, as one of its goals, that by 2035 energy efficiency standards for the new light vehicle fleet will be adopted.
At present, there are an important number of public transport modes powered by electricity in the country (Metro de Santiago, Merval, Biotren, Central Train, Valparaíso trolleybuses) and other emblematic projects are under development (trams in different cities, cable cars, electric buses in Transantiago). The use of light and medium electric vehicles for commercial purposes (taxis, collective taxis, delivery ota) have started to be attractive due to their lower operating costs.
In this context, Chile aims at completely electrifying the public transport fleet and 40% of the private vehicles fleet until 2050. Only considering the light vehicles goal, it is estimated that the entry of electric vehicles will avoid the emission of 11 million tons of CO2 per year and will reduce the country's energy expenditure by more than US $ 3,300 million annually, which corresponds almost exclusively to imported fuels, equivalent to about 1.5% of 2016 GDP, according to estimates of the Ministry of Energy.
The Metropolitan Region of Santiago has a population of 7.3 million inhabitants with 1.2 million private vehicles. Regarding the public transport fleet, there are 6,595 urban buses, more than 24,000 taxis and over 14,000 collective taxis (shared fix route taxis).
In Santiago, over 60% of daily trips are made by motorised modes, i.e., 29.1% are made by public transport and 28% by private vehicles, each trip lasting in average 30 minutes and 6 km. In this sense, it is worth noting that 60% of all households do not possess private cars.
In terms of emissions, transport accounts for one third of energy GHG emissions and almost half of NOx emissions in Chile. Transantiago alone emits more than 450,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications has announced new regulations to replace the fleet with Euro VI and 90 electric buses in its most recent tender (2018-2019).
In the past months, 30 drivers were trained to operate the first hundred e-buses that will circulate in Santiago. Santiago will be the first city in Latin America to have a complete public transport line running fully on lithium batteries buses. The goal is to have 200 buses until February 2019, with which Santiago becomes one of the leading cities in the world in terms of e-mobility. This first phase was carried out thanks to a partnership between the private operator of the line, MetBus, BYD, and the private energy company, Enel.
Santiago was awarded a grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in 2018 to support the electrification plan of the local BRT system, called Transantiago. The goal is to electrify 25% of the Transantiago fleet until 2025, which will account for ca. 1,500 buses. The project will be conducted in 2 phases2: