Chile's President Sebastian Pinera on Wednesday said electric vehicles (EVs) are the transportation means of the future, as he unveiled a fleet of EVs to be used to transport him and five of his ministers.
"The future of mobility is going to be electric, and that's good news for the environment, but it is also good news for the copper industry and for our country," said Pinera.
Copper is Chile's main export, and EVs require three times more copper to produce than conventional vehicles.
In addition, by 2025, the EV industry is expected to consume nearly 40 percent of the world's lithium, another mineral Chile has in abundance. In fact, Chile is among the world's leading producers of lithium, which is used to make rechargeable batteries.
The fully electric BMW i3 Atelier models now at the service of the president and his top aides can reach maximum speeds of 150 kilometers per hour, and need recharging every 250 kilometers on average.
"This is a symbolic step that represents the government's commitment" to caring for the environment by adopting more electronic transportation, said Pinera.
According to Energy Minister Susana Jimenez, by 2022 Chile aims to "increase tenfold the number of electric vehicles that circulate in the country."