SOLUTIONSplus supporting low-carbon last mile logistics in Montevideo and Quito
Montevideo and Quito are the two cities in Latin America in which the SOLUTIONSplus project is being implemented. In both cities, one of the components of the pilots has been the introduction of Light Electric Vehicles (LEV) in urban logistics to be able to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, especially for last mile trips. Besides the provision of seed funding for the local design and assembly of innovative LEV concepts, the SOLUTIONSplus project has been supporting the local actors by providing capacity building, technical support related to business model development, innovation management, advisory services and in some cases even European vehicle components, as part of its Start-up Incubator and matchmaking program. In this context, the second module of the SOLUTIONSplus Regional Training for Latin America 2021, that took place in September and October 2021, focused on low-carbon urban logistics and regulations for LEV. Moreover, Valeo, one of the SOL+ consortium members will provide drivetrains to two of the start-ups selected for funding, Sidertech in Quito and GreenStar in Montevideo. Finally, in the context of the SOLUTIONSplus European Innovators Call, PEM Motion was selected to provide support to four Latin American start-ups, two in each city, in the design and engineering of the vehicles.
Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay with a population of 1.3 million inhabitants presents important opportunities for improvement in relation to the electrification of transport, both in relation to passenger and freight transport. In relation to public transport (PT), the national government has undergone important efforts to refocus the refocus the PT subsidy to cover the difference in the upfront investment costs of e-buses. However, the percentage of electric buses is still marginal (less than 1%). Thus, the electrification of the PT fleet still has a long way to go. In relation to the transport of goods, there has been a significant increase in delivery services, which are carried out using mainly ICE motorcycles. In this sense, there is a very important opportunity for electrification, which could contribute not only to the mitigation of GHG emissions, but also to a reduction of the air and noise pollution and road safety accidents associated with this type of deliveries.
Since 2020, SOLUTIONSplus has been collaborating with local initiatives and stakeholders such as the MOVÉS Project and the Ricaldoni Foundation (FJR) to provide seed funding for the local design and assembly of light electric vehicles for urban logistics. In November 2020, SOLUTIONSplus launched the first call in partnership with MOVÉS, a national project funded by the GEF-6 that promotes electric and sustainable mobility in Uruguay, for the design of Light Electric Freight Vehicles (LEFV). The second call to support for the vehicle prototyping and manufacturing of the vehicle designs approved in the first phase was launched in December 2021 in partnership with the FJR, a non-profit organization that belongs to the Faculty of Engineering of the public university of Uruguay (UDELAR).
Among the selected companies, there are two companies that are manufacturing pedal-assisted electric bicycles for delivery, which are CargoBike and Wheele. On the other hand, the GreenStar is working in the design and assembly of electric tricycles and quadricycles. The latter will be provided Valeo electric drivetrains as part of the collaboration with SOLUTIONSplus.
The total number of LEV being produced in the context of the SOLUTIONSplus project is 12, distributed in the following categories:
Total e-tricycles: 2
Total e-quadricycles: 2
Total pedal-assisted e-cargo bikes: 8
The images below present a summary of the prototypes, indicating the corresponding companies in each case.