Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: June 7, 2024
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By Lucila de los Santos
Latin America

Sheinbaum wins 2024 elections in Mexico, paving the way for a favourable eMobility landscape

Following her landslide victory in the elections, Claudia Sheinbaum became Mexico's first female president. The driving force behind electromobility will continue the change initiated by Andrés Manuel López Obrador in 2018. What are the eMobility challenges for the woman who has set both a personal and political milestone?

Every step in Claudia Sheinbaum‘s life reverberates across Mexican soil, but it was a specific event that birthed her political career: December 5, 2000, when she assumed office as Secretary of Environment of Mexico City under the wing of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

However, in 2018, a pivotal event occurred, not only on a personal level but also politically.

This was the year she transformed into the first woman elected Head of Government of Mexico City.

Today, history repeats itself, and the message during her first speech after winning the presidential elections is clear: “I do not come alone, we all come.”

With nearly 38 million votes, Mexicans entrusted Sheinbaum with their confidence, and once again, the scientist set a milestone: for the first time in 200 years, she became the first female president of the country.

What does this triumph mean in the world of sustainable mobility?

It is a fact that electromobility is where the global automotive industry is heading, and as the seventh-largest producer of automobiles worldwide, Mexico cannot afford to lag behind.

While there has been momentum since AMLO’s administration, there is still much to be done.

The eMobility sector calls for the National Electromobility Strategy and emphasizes the phenomenon of nearshoring as a spearhead.

The president-elect also focuses on this axis, as it is crucial for Sheinbaum to define a new diplomatic strategy with Washington.

How? By ending bilateral relations on a “closed book” basis and renewing ties with a new approach that is more beneficial for the local economy.

“We will respect entrepreneurial freedom and promote and facilitate with honesty national and foreign private investment that fosters social welfare and regional development, always guaranteeing respect for the environment,” the politician stated after learning of the results that declared her the winner.

Furthermore, she affirmed that Morena‘s continuity in the National Government would be with a foreign policy “based on our constitutional principles of non-intervention, international cooperation for development, self-determination of peoples, and peacebuilding.”

She also referred to the relationship with the United States as “friendship, mutual respect, and equality.”

Indeed, nearshoring is also a key strategy for Sheinbaum concerning the United States.

For Mexico, this means the possibility of accessing foreign direct investment while escaping restrictive legislations that respond to geopolitical wars.

Thus, regardless of the nationality of the investment, if models of development benefiting local populations are proposed, there would be no conflict with the deployment of Chinese brands in the Mexican automotive market.

Sheinbaum’s eMobility projections

It can be said that one of the many reasons Sheinbaum is considered a prominent leader is her conviction to promote the transition to zero emissions.

During her tenure as Head of Government of Mexico City, two urban cable car lines were created, 442 new trolleybus units were purchased, 9 new units were acquired for the Light Rail, Line 3 of the Metrobus was converted to 100 percent electric, and the New Line 1 of the Metro, which was over 50 years old, was built.

Throughout the electoral campaign, the scientist highlighted this work and committed to replicating these policies across the country.

“We will advance in energy transition, in electric cars and transportation,” she stated during the Second Presidential Debate.

Her government axis “Energy Sovereignty for Sustainable Development” includes strengthening Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) as companies “for all Mexicans.”

Companies like Enel have already expressed their congratulations to the winner, as well as associations linked to the world of sustainable mobility.

José Luis Navarro Hermoso, Country Manager of the firm in Mexico, placed his bets: “We can expect plans for investment in networks, increases in the country’s renewable generation capacity, maintaining opportunities and synergies between the public and private sectors to be boosted in the first months of her government.

Along with measures to “boost electrification, energy efficiency, and decarbonization on the path to combating climate change and accelerating the energy transition.”

Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s final stretch

Strengthening the North American market and sectoral programs for semiconductors and electromobility are López Obrador‘s priorities in the final stretch of his term and before the review of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States, and Canada (USMCA).

This was indicated by Economy Secretary, Raquel Buenrostro, during the fifteenth conference of the Council of the Americas in Mexico City.

“We have to strengthen the North American market a lot, which we have been integrated into for many years now; we already have a historic free trade agreement. Although USMCA is new, our familiarity and the way we trade have been going on for many years,” explained the official.

She reflected that Mexico has become a very competitive country in terms of macroeconomic conditions, thanks to its stability, healthy public finances, strengthened currency, and human capital.

“We are professionalizing our teams a lot. So all this generates a series of conditions to develop productive chains and value chains in Mexico,” Buenrostro highlighted.

She also indicated that, as a result, the country is being seen as an important focus for attracting the development of the North American regional market.

On the other hand, she specified that another focus in the final stretch of López Obrador’s administration will be the modification of sectoral programs for semiconductors, electromobility, and medical devices.

In this context, Mark Sánchez, president of the National Association of Electric and Sustainable Vehicles (ANVES), refers to the current administration as having “prepared the bases for the energy transition that the new government will continue.”

Now, we only have to wait for the zero-emission measures that Sheinbaum will take from October 1, when the transition of the Federal Executive Power takes place.

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