If I used to be to ask “what’s the largest EV vendor in Colombia?,” what would you reply?
Whatever the reply (and I’m betting most of you mentioned BYD), chances are high you’ll be mistaken. For, in Colombia, a set of fairly particular circumstances ended up with the most important EV distributor being … an area bike firm. And the story of how this occurred is sort of attention-grabbing.
The Rise of Auteco (Autotécnica Colombiana SAS)
Based in 1941, Auteco is the oldest bike producer within the Andean group, and it has grown to develop into certainly one of Colombia’s largest bike producers, providing a number of international and proprietary bike manufacturers underneath its umbrella.
In 2016, Auteco’s management observed the rising marketplace for unregistered e-mopeds and realized the alternatives it supplied, as no formal bike producer was taking a part of it. They developed a proprietary model (Stärker) powered by lead-acid batteries and, on the identical time, created alliances with international producers — primarily V-Moto and Lifan — to deliver Tremendous Soco and E3 fashions to Colombia. One would’ve anticipated issues to finish there, however Auteco appears to have realized again then what many didn’t: that electric-powered autos had been poised to deliver exorbitant development earlier than later … and it beats me how, however they began to get forward of automobile distributors at their very own recreation.
See, again then, Chinese language corporations had been making a painful effort to realize share within the Latin American markets with their cheap-but-unreliable ICEVs, primarily specializing in very price-sensible segments similar to vans and vans. In Colombia, manufacturers similar to Foton, JAC, Dongfeng, and DFSK already had some recognition. Nevertheless, for no matter causes (and we are able to most likely guess appropriately which of them), native distributors refused to promote EVs from these manufacturers.
Auteco noticed the chance and seized it. In 2018, it introduced its first electrical truck into the nation underneath the proprietary model identify Stärk. In 2019, it allied with Zhidou to deliver Colombia’s most profitable EV to date: the Zhidou D2S. By 2020, it had negotiated unique distribution rights from JAC and Dongfeng for all of their EVs (regardless of different corporations already having distribution rights for his or her ICEVs) and developed a proprietary electrical three-wheeler model (Ceronte). And by 2021, it was the most important EV vendor within the nation in all segments besides private autos and buses (which have all the time been led by BYD).
This 12 months, Auteco divided its enterprise traces — creating one dedicated to EVs particularly (Auteco Blue) — and introduced the arrival of three new JAC EV fashions to Colombia: a big sedan (EJ7), an SUV (E40X), and a pickup truck (T8). And, simply this week, a brand new alliance with CATL was introduced.
CATL-Auteco’s Alliance: the e-Lab
Particulars are nonetheless fuzzy, and extra info is promised quickly. However the gist of the matter is that Auteco will construct a lab and technical service facilities to diagnose and restore CATL batteries, a service that shall be supplied for all CATL-powered autos no matter their model or authentic vendor.
That is large information for the nation. One of many everlasting questions on EVs has to do with servicing: as soon as the guarantee runs out, what are you to do? The place will you discover a restore technician capable of cope with your car? Will the model that offered you the automobile even exist by then?
Auteco solves all these questions with one easy reply: “Deliver them outdated EVs to us! We can have the know-how, the individuals, and the know-how, to resolve any points you could current! Fear not, pricey consumers, for the longer term is already right here!”
This restore middle additionally comes at a good time, for it’s unclear how long-lasting the batteries of small quadricycles — such because the Zhidou D2S — shall be, and little doubt this brings belief from earlier consumers and confidence for future ones. And, in fact, having a common service middle for batteries (as an alternative of merely a guaranty middle that replaces any defective battery, as BYD does) begins constructing the infrastructure and human capital required for a not-so-distant future the place most autos shall be EVs.
Within the meantime, I depend on this being a serious gross sales level for each Auteco and CATL. BYD must up its recreation.
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