With electrifying speed, the Legislative Assembly has approved, in a second and final debate, the law on incentives and promotion of electric transport in the country.

Electric Car In Charging Station. Image for illustrative purposes

In a vote of 37 in favor and one opposed, the bill now goes to Casa Presidencial for the President’s signature and official publication in La Gaceta, expected in the new year, before it can go into effect.

The opposition came from Frente Amplio legislator, Jose Ramirez, who felt the law was not “inclusive” enough.

The new legislation would make the purchase of electric vehicles more accessible, the current cost of which is high given the onerous rechargeable battery system with which they operate. In addition, the massive sale of the zero-emission vehicles would contribute to Costa Rica’s initiative to become a carbon neutral country by 2022.

Exonerations. There are three taxes from which electric vehicles will be exempt: the general sales tax, the selective consumption tax, and the customs value tax.

Vehicles with a CIF value of US$30,000 or less ar 100% tax free. Based on our report of November 28, electric vehicles with a CIF value of US$30,001 and US$45,000 will pay only half of the sales tax and 75% of the selective consumption tax, while vehicles with a CIF value of between US$45,001 and US$60,000 will pay the sales tax and only one half of the selective consumption tax.

The CIF value (cost, insurance and freight) includes the total amount of the car upon arrival at the port, as well as the insurance that must be paid to the shipping company, the carrier or the insurer for the transportation of that merchandise, and the amount that this transfer represents.

Initially, the bill contemplated the importation of electric, not older than five years. However, six months ago the proposal was reformed and limited the exoneration only to new vehicles.

Another of the modifications that the bill went through was to only contemplate electric vehicles, zero emissions. That is hybrids will not be exonerated as was contemplated when the proposal began to see the light, more than two years ago.

This is a list of production electric cars that in could soon be on the roads of Costa Rica, according to the Q:

  • BMW i3
  • Chevrolet SparkEV
  • Ford Focus Electric
  • Honda Fit EV
  • Hyndai Ioniq (already on display at the Q dealership in Santa Ana)
  • Kia Soul EV
  • Nissan Leaf