Fuel economy in Chile

Part of Global Fuel Economy Initiative 2021

Market profile and analysis of fuel consumption trends

Nearly 350 000 light-duty vehicles (LDVs) were sold in Chile in 2019. The average fuel consumption of new LDVs fell from 8.5 litres gasoline equivalent per 100 kilometres (Lge/100 km) in 2005 to 7.9 Lge/100 km in 2019, roughly 11% above the global average. Chile is among LDV markets reviewed with the least improvement in fuel economy, with average fuel consumption decreasing a mere 0.5% on average per year between 2005 and 2019. Fuel economy improvements have primarily occurred in the city and medium car segements, while reductions in fuel consumption have been marginal for SUVs and has increased for large cars since 2005. Notably, fuel consumption of large SUV/pick-ups has increased 1.5% per year from 2017 to 2019.

In 2019, SUVs were more than half of LDV sales, while city cars made up 24% of sales, and medium cars were 12% of sales. The average weight of LDVs increased 8% since 2005 to 1 447 kg in 2019, just 3% below the global average. Gasoline vehicles were 72% of LDVs sold in 2019, while deisel vehicles accounted for just over a quarter of sales. The market for hybrid, plug-in and electric vehicles is still in its infancy in Chile, accounting for less than 1% of LDV sales collectively in 2019. 

Overview of current fuel economy policy

Chile was the first country in Latin America to adopt fuel economy vehicle labeling in 2013. In 2014, the government introduced progressive fees on vehicles that do not meet specific fuel economy and pollutant emissions thresholds. Electric vehicles are offered exemptions from environmental tax and traffic restrictions. In 2017, the National Electromobility Strategy outlined actions to ensure that 40% of private vehicles in Chile are electric by 2050. In 2015, the National Energy 2050 Policy outlined a goal of adopting energy efficiency standards for the new fleet of LDVs by 2035. Standards have yet to be establiashed, though Chile released its first Energy Efficiency Law in 2021, which mandates the setting of energy efficiency standards for LDVs within 12 months. The Energy Efficiency Law also seeks to establish multipliers for electric and hybrid vehicles in the calculation of the sales average car efficiency.