Over the last few years, the passenger car fleet has been gradually increasing in Mexico. According to the latest data from INEGI, in August 2022 there were 3,571,7019 passenger cars in Mexico, which represents an increase of almost 700,000 (approximately 1.8%) since 2021. Regarding their age, the average age of legal vehicles is 10.69 years old, but to this, we must add regularized vehicles (which were illegal before and are now legal) and illegal ones.
Various sources calculate that the average age of cars in Mexico is between 12.6 and 15.2 years, which means that they are quite old cars. In 2005, the Government of Mexico authorized the regularization of used cars from abroad, which means that the number of imported used vehicles (“chocolate” cars), which do not have control over their CO2 emissions, grows year after year. The economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic made many people prefer to keep cars that are more than 10 years old rather than buy a new one, and the Mexican vehicle fleet is expected to continue to age.
This has a clear environmental impact, and, in Mexico City cars made before 2013 cannot circulate every day. They have to remain unused one day a week. In 2021, 122,700 barrels of gasoline per day (more than 1 million petajoules per year) and 782,000 petajoules of diesel were consumed. In addition to the importation of used cars, since 1991 Mexico allows the importation of cars from 24 countries, with more than 200,000 imported cars per year, compared to almost 3 million cars that are manufactured within the country. 22% of all imported cars come from China.
There is a lag in the field of hybrid and electric vehicles, as there is little infrastructure and it is cheaper to maintain old vehicles, so hybrids are not a mainstream option. However, in 2021, more than 47,000 hybrids were sold, which is more than a 90% increase from the previous year, although it is still less than 5% of the total. By 2023, this figure is expected to triple, and multiply it by 20 for the next 10 years (144 million electric vehicles in 2030). Most are currently imported, and very few brands manufacture them for national consumption. Passenger cars generate 18% of CO2 emissions in Mexico.
The data presented is reliable since it comes from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), but there is no reliable data on emissions by type of origin over time, nor data on the type of fuel of the passenger car fleet, since only the total data is given. The data collected from SENER (Secretary of Energy) about the type of fuel used only reaches up to 2020 and is also total data that does not distinguish the consumption sector of these fuels. The fact that there are so many illegal cars also makes it difficult to get reliable figures about their emissions.
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Mexico Country Manager Pablo David Necoechea Porras