The Time has come for Electric Cars in Costa Rica

    Electric cars a good option or a headache?

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    On December 14, 2017, the deputies approved the Law of Incentives and Promotion for Electric Transportation. This regulation exempts electric cars and motorcycles from paying taxes and branding for the next five years.

    Electric car agencies face challenges

    It also gives these cars some benefits such as non-payment of parking meters, special parking spaces, and they will not be subject to vehicle restrictions.

    To answer all people’s questions, a research team took a trip in a 100% electric car in the company of its owner, Jesús Valverde, who bought it in the United States and brought it to the country a year ago. In the company of Valverde and with the help of specialists, we reviewed some myths and searched for answers about the experience of having an electric car in Costa Rica.

    Is it true that electric cars generate savings?

    Electric cars operate with just 20% or 25% of the energy per kilometer that an internal combustion car requires, according to information from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE). Jorge Mario Montero, an ICE engineer, explained in a publication from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (ITCR) that electric vehicles will also have an important impact on reducing liquid and solid waste.

    “They are zero emissions, they do not emit local gaseous pollutants, particles, nitrogen, etc. (…); and a lot of solid and liquid waste generated by traditional vehicles is eliminated, since they do not have motor oil, they do not have spark plugs, they don’t use muffles, “added Montero.

    Is our country in a position to maintain electric cars?

    Costa Rica has the optimal conditions to expand the vehicle fleet of electric cars, motorcycles and bicycles, since it has a network fed 99% by renewable sources. Valverde assured that his monthly electricity consumption increased by ¢ 5,000, but currently he saves ¢ 55,000 each month in fuel.

    How long does the battery in electric cars last?

    The duration of the battery charge will depend on the driving conditions. If used with air conditioning or driven at high speeds, it may discharge faster. Valverde said that his experience with his car, a Nissan LEAF, has taught him that he must charge it for an hour and a half to three hours to get 100% of the battery and that level of charge allows him to move about 145 kilometers.

    How does the charging of electric cars work?

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    Recharging an electric car works like any other battery electric device. It connects to a charging station. The emergency cord is generally found in the trunk of the electric car. In some cases they have to be paid as optional.

    Once connected, a charging protocol is automatically developed. The charging station technique communicates with the car’s battery control, makes way for charging and locks the connection so that it cannot be unplugged until the process is finished.

    Will there be room at the charging station?

    Those who do not have charging in their own garage have to look for electricity at the public access charging points. But given the scarcity of public apartment spaces in cities, it is not uncommon to find a gasoline car parked in front of an electric recharging column. Car navigators should therefore include information on the availability of charging stations.

    How long do you have to stay charging the electric car?

    A recharge through the home network usually lasts between six and twelve hours. Quick charges significantly reduce that time.

    Charging the battery to 80% takes an hour less is what manufacturers also recommend.

    How much does the recharge cost?

    Prices vary however. The market for electric car recharging is very heterogeneous. Some charging points bill according to the electricity taken. Others for the connection time.

    To conclude the electric cars and their main challenge is that the public and users adapt to these changes. Although in reality Costa Ricans take each evolution that benefits them in the most receptive way.

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