14.02.2022

Pilot project starts with electric vehicles for freight transport 

In Costa Rica, the IKI is supporting a pilot project that is examining the use of a light electric vehicle in three companies. Photo: GIZ Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, the IKI is supporting a pilot project that is examining the use of a light electric vehicle in three companies.

The Costa Rica Institute of Technology (TEC) and the International Climate Initiative (IKI) have launched a pilot project that will investigate the use of a light electric vehicle in three Costa Rican companies.

The aim is to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles for freight transport in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica’s Deputy Minister for Energy, Rolando Castro, explains the start of the pilot project: 

“This project is helping us come closer to meeting the targets from our Decarbonisation Plan and raise awareness in a number of sectors for electric vehicle technology.” 

ICE vehicles compared with electric vehicles

A feasibility analysis is being used to determine the technical and financial impact that would result from replacing the fleet of light utility and delivery vehicles powered by internal combustion engines (ICE) with electric vehicles (EVs). 

The environmental impact of ICEs and EVs is also being investigated, so as to compare carbon emissions while taking into account the consumption of fossil fuels as well as electrical energy.

Collecting data from day-to-day operations

Companies from a wide range of industries are participating with their vehicle fleets: air-conditioning engineers Multifrío S.A. and recycling experts FORTECH, are both based in the metropolitan area. The third company is coffee distributor CoopeTarrazú, which is located in a rural district.

At all three companies, data is collected from the ICE vehicles used in these businesses - monitored in real time - to generate a baseline. By way of comparison, data from an EV belonging to TEC and operated on the same or similar routes by the companies is then analysed. 

Accelerating the green transition in freight transport

To date, electrically powered freight vehicles have been rarely seen in Costa Rica. One of the aims of this project is to obtain information about the performance of electric utility and delivery vehicles. This helps businesses, who regularly transport goods, to view electric vehicles as an increasingly appealing option – and to migrate their fleet accordingly. 

To do so, the decision to switch to EVs must not just be beneficial to the environment and climate but must also be profitable from a business perspective. 

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