Electric Mobility in Costa Ballena
AUTHOR: Dagmar Reinhard
From Dominical to Ojochal, there are several gas stations, and filling the fuel tank of a light vehicle takes only a few minutes. However, fossil fuel derivatives in road transport account for around 10.2% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Battery electric vehicles are an option to reduce gas emissions, especially in countries like Costa Rica that pride themselves on generating clean energy.
According to the Costa Rican Association of Electric Mobility (Asomove), there was a 54% increase in imported electric cars in the country compared to February 2021. Government entities, associations, and institutions are organizing a network of Routes for electric vehicles to facilitate travel to all cantons of Costa Rica.
The Costa Rica United States Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA) and its Electric Routes team explain that these routes consist of "power outlets and semi-fast chargers installed and labeled as: charging points. Charging points are restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions, and other businesses or organizations. Users will be able to charge their vehicles while they rest, eat, do the shopping and personal errands, and enjoy the tourist attractions in the area."
Electric vehicles will enjoy tax exemptions thanks to the law that promotes green transport; they do not pay a stamp for five years and are exempt from vehicle restrictions.
Several companies are already producing the charging infrastructure in the country. New tourism and travelers are moving around the charging stations, with the autonomy of an electric vehicle still not more than 200 km in the best case. During the Expomovil 2022 in San José, they exhibited electric car brands such as Nissan with Leaf, BMW X7, and many others, including some suitable for rural roads. A series of Rent-a-Cars are already renting electric cars, and some banks are offering Leasing.
At the regional level, the representative of the area's Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Pilar Salazar, the Development Association, and the SOMOS Foundation are leading the process. The project was presented to the Municipality of OSA and has the support of the local government.
There are several requirements and different charger options to install a charging station. Costa Ballena already has an authorized workshop with specialized mechanics to service electric cars and an authorized electrician to install charging stations in establishments and 240V plugs in residential houses for 240V chargers.
We had the great pleasure of interviewing Automotive Technician Johnn Maroto, owner of the first Electromechanical Automotive Workshop, certified nationally and internationally in electric mobility. He services electric cars and bicycles in Costa Ballena in the southern zone of Costa Rica.
Johnn worked for years in Spain with LM Wind Power (windmills) and Mitsubishi in the Renewable Energy Division. He also became certified in Industrial Electricity and brought extensive knowledge of how electric cars work back to Costa Rica. Johnn continues to train at the CEA Institute among many others, he obtained the qualification of "Operation and Diagnosis of the Electric Vehicle."
When a customer asks him: Johnn, is it worth buying an electric vehicle? He replies: "Yes, of course, they have very advanced technology, and there are authorized technicians and 300 charging stations nationwide!"
What fails the most? The client goes on. Johnn explains: "After a long life, it might be its' heart,' the battery that can fail.
Necessary: An electric vehicle must have periodic maintenance with a certified and authorized mechanic, provided with super special gloves and insulating tools – since he is working with high voltage! You should check your tires regularly, as in any car. Otherwise, the vehicles do not have significant difficulties, not even with the brakes.
If it rains? You can drive with peace of mind, as the car is hermetically sealed against water. Recharging the vehicle under rain or downpour is safe. You can also take it to a car wash; all components, such as pipes and connectors, are waterproof. It's as safe as a plane in a storm. The vehicles are technically Faraday cages based on the Faraday law principle.
So, welcome to Costa Ballena!
Existing charging stations along our beautiful Coastal Highway (from north to south): Hacienda Barú - Plaza Pacifica Dominical - Hotel Villas Rio Mar - Los Barriles Restaurant - Tracopa Uvita - Johnn Maroto Eurotaller Tecnicarve DYG - Llantero Center - Cusinga EcoLodge - ŌM Energy Ojochal.
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