Long lines of vehicles outside of gas stations reflect the acute shortage of diesel and gasoline in Cuba, which has had negative impacts on an economy that is highly dependent on fuel imports and has only a small proportion of renewable sources in its energy mix.
The incorporation of small electric vehicles for public transport, together with initiatives that encourage the use of bicycles, represent opportunities and challenges for Cuba to sustainably and inclusively combat the chronic problems in urban mobility.
The Mexico City government began testing an elevated route for electric buses with great fanfare on Sept. 11, in a bid to promote more sustainable transport. The initiative is part of an incipient promotion of electromobility in the country, amidst pro-fossil fuel energy policies.
Brazil celebrated 100,000 electric vehicles in circulation in late July, but this is a drop in the ocean compared to the 46 million combustion vehicles registered in the country and in contrast with the pace of the phasing out of oil in the world's automotive industry.
The manufacture in Chile of an electric bus christened Queltehue, a wading bird native to the country, is another step towards electromobility and in the fight against pollution that triggers frequent environmental crises and smog emergencies in Santiago and other cities.
Electric transport, still limited in Latin America despite its urban benefits, could expand during the post-pandemic economic recovery, says Adalberto Maluf, president of the Brazilian Association of Electric Vehicles (ABVE).
Dogged by intractable air pollution debilitating large northern swathes from mainly urban vehicle emissions, India earlier this year announced targets for a 40 percent non-fossil component in its fuel-mix by 2030 as part of its Nationally Determined Commitments (NDC) to the Paris accord on climate change. It aims for full electrification of public transit systems and of one-third private vehicles by 2030.