State of Chihuahua, WDI Partner to Advance e-Mobility Transition Plans

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Energy & Mobility

The William Davidson Institute (WDI) and the State of Chihuahua in Mexico will join together to research and develop a comprehensive strategic roadmap for the automotive manufacturing hub to transition to a competitive electric mobility ecosystem.

Nearly 184,000 people are employed in the automotive and transportation sector in the State of Chihuahua, according to a 2022 survey by INEGI, Mexico’s national statistics institute. Regional economic development leaders are preparing for the transition to electric mobility (e-Mobility) by developing a statewide strategy to increase its competitiveness and identify key capabilities needed to take advantage of current and future business opportunities in the rapidly changing sector.

In the partnership, WDI will collaborate closely with Chihuahua state government entities Secretaría de Innovación y Desarrollo Económico (SIDE) and Instituto de Innovación y Competitividad (I2C), to create a roadmap for the transition to e-Mobility.

Fernando Alba

“The objective of this collaboration is to establish a pathway on e-mobility to which we can align our actions and initiatives, developing and strengthening the skills of our citizens and promoting changes in the industry production processes. This roadmap will inform and support public policies that develop the supply chain in the state, while promoting competitiveness and efficient mobility,” said Fernando Alba, Undersecretary for Mining, Energy, and Industry, for the State of Chihuahua.

“By orchestrating agendas of smart specialization, we seek to ensure the positioning of Chihuahua as the eState of Mexico, through effective public policies and a favorable environment that guarantees economic transformation of our region, thanks to more competitive companies, participating in more profitable and future-oriented businesses,” said María Angélica Granados Trespalacios, Secretary of Innovation and Economic Development for Chihuahua.

The roadmap will explore many issues, including the key elements of the emerging e-mobility ecosystem, the players necessary to make it possible, and the most effective strategies and actions to prepare for the e-Mobility transition.

“This project will dig into many of the most relevant questions and issues that the e-mobility transition involves for players operating in this space, particularly in low and middle-income countries,” said Diana Páez, Senior Director and mobility lead at WDI. “With the answers to these questions, we will work with Chihuahua to develop a strong ecosystem that builds on their assets and strengths and helps position the state as an e-mobility leader.”

Electric vehicles (EVs) represented just 4.1% of total new vehicle sales worldwide in 2020. However, that figure doubled to nearly 9% (6.6 million vehicles) in 2021, according to the International Energy Agency. Nearly all automakers are introducing new EVs, investing heavily in R&D for electric powertrains and batteries, and several have announced plans to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles. The coming transition has created uncertainty for many companies, municipalities and workforces that depend upon the automotive industry.

“WDI’s focus will be on identifying emerging business opportunities that play to Chihuahua’s capabilities in this sector and recommending areas that the state can target for high-impact interventions. In the current mobility environment, the moves leaders make now will decide whether they win or lose tomorrow. We are delighted to see Chihuahua’s commitment to this goal and excited to partner on this project,” Páez added.

Diana Páez

In October of 2021, WDI hosted a delegation from the State of Chihuahua that included representatives from SIDE, the Artificial Intelligence Center, National Polytechnic Institute, Technology Hub, Technology Development Institute, and the Technical Institute of Juárez. Representatives from Dell and Microsoft were also in attendance. The group participated in a weeklong learning and exchange program that included stops and meetings at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, SPARK, the Center for Automotive Research, the University Research Corridor, the Michigan Economic Center, and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification in Detroit, among other mobility players.

WDI works with energy and mobility innovators and entrepreneurs in low- and middle-income countries to develop and scale profitable business models. This includes designing commercialization strategies and generating knowledge and tools that help companies navigate the energy transition and take advantage of emerging opportunities. The Institute partners with University of Michigan faculty, students, and global experts working at the frontiers of solar, wind and other renewable energy solutions. In the mobility space, WDI also leverages the state of Michigan’s rich automotive heritage and vibrant mobility ecosystem to help partners navigate the industry’s ongoing transformation and take advantage of new business opportunities.

About WDI

At the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, unlocking the power of business to provide lasting economic and social prosperity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is in our DNA. We gather the data, develop new models, test concepts and collaborate with partners to find real solutions that lead to new opportunities. This is what we mean by Solving for Business—our calling since the Institute was first founded as an independent nonprofit educational organization in 1992. We believe societies that empower individuals with the tools and skills to excel in business, in turn generate both economic growth and social freedom—or the agency necessary for people to thrive.

About SIDE

SIDE fosters and facilitates the economic development of Chihuahua, in coordination with economic actors, increasing the competitiveness of businesses through innovation, to generate wealth and employment, and enhance the quality of life for the people of Chihuahua.

About I2C

I2C is a government agency of the State of Chihuahua that seeks to strengthen and promote scientific, technological and innovation capacities, through strategic research, technological development, and innovation (R&D&i) projects and programs that provide solutions and improve productivity and competitiveness of the productive, social, public, and academic sectors of the State of Chihuahua.

Media Contact:

Scott Anderson, WDI Communications Manager

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