PART I: INAUGURAL CEREMONY
There’s a shared understanding that climate change poses an existential threat and the cost of inaction is too high. Representatives from both the United States and Mexico acknowledged the importance of creating a binational working group on transportation electrification to help combat climate change, create economic development opportunities for both nations and reinforce US-Mexico leading position in the auto industry as it moves towards electrification. California, the world’s 5th largest economy, has demonstrated through its leadership policies that it’s possible to make historical climate investments, grow the economy and slash greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.
While the primary topic of discussion was transportation electrification, there was a recognition that solutions need to be holistic and systemic and consider both the energy and transportation sectors as a whole. Innovative government structures such as the United State’s effort in creating a new joint office between the energy and transportation sectors can serve as a model for how others can work and share expertise across all levels of government. In addition to energy and transportation, there’s a need to partner with the telecommunications sector to address some of the broadband challenges Mexico and the US face with the electrification of transport transition.
Stakeholders articulated the need for a working group to create opportunities for collaboration between industry, government, and academia from both countries. One singular binational roadmap is essential as opposed to multiple individual roadmaps in order to foster a strong bilateral relationship, engender innovative technologies and strategies, and create joint solutions that tackle shared challenges.
PART II: WORKING SESSIONS
Challenges In the US-Mexico Automotive Industry Are Opportunities
Many of the challenges raised are seen as opportunities and significantly overlap with the five key issue areas that subsequent working groups will be formed around:
- The working session surfaced the research vacuum that exists as it relates to transportation electrification topics in relation to the integrated US-Mexico auto industry (batteries, charging infrastructure, policies etc). Research is needed that articulates the current markets of what already exists and is in place regarding the US-Mexico auto industry. Additionally, there’s tremendous opportunity to explore shared innovative technologies and promote transfer of technology/knowledge, particularly from California.
There’s an opportunity to explore the full supply chain of the transportation electrification system, conduct life cycle analyses, identify battery technologies and mineral mining locations as well as identify what questions are puzzles that US-Mexico need to further research to resolve.
Mexico and the United States could collaborate in developing the appropriate public policies and regulations to advance transportation exploration. Some referenced exploring an “LCFS” in Mexico or learning from some of the CA leadership policies on transportation. There’s a desire to use the working group to think about harmonizing standards and regulations amongst US-Mexico, specifically CA-Mexico. In addition to state and federal policy tools, there’s an opportunity to partner with local and regional governments in pursuit of equitable solutions and accessible technologies.
There are a suite of questions on charging infrastructure, from financing, where to deploy, role of incentives, and role of government/industry. A particular topic of interest was the need for a landscape analysis of charging infrastructure already in place, particularly in Mexico, and what type of charging infrastructure, and where it should be located.