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BR-163 in Mato Grosso is the first highway in Brazil to have autonomy for electric vehicles
The agribusiness highway is now a technological benchmark. Rota do Oeste Concessionaire, which manages the BR-163 highway in Mato Grosso, is the first in Brazil to implement autonomy to supply electric vehicles in the 855 kilometers granted – from Itiquira to Sinop, becoming the only corridor with capacity for electric supply in the Midwest. There are no recharging costs for users, for undetermined time.
Altogether, the company has installed six service stations in its terminals on the sides of the highway, enabling owners of electric vehicles to travel approximately 1,200 kilometers with the fuel provided along the stretch under concession. The terminals also house vehicles such as ambulances and winches to support drivers on the BR-163 highway and are equipped with access to water, toilets and a waiting room. Recharging points are available in the cities of Rondonópolis, Santo Antônio de Leverger, Várzea Grande/Cuiabá, Diamantino, Lucas do Rio Verde, and Sorriso. Information on the location of the totems and whether they are operational can be checked by application.
The initiative of Rota do Oeste meets the sustainability values advocated by the company, combined with its efforts to bring the best in highway technology to Brazil’s main grain distribution corridor. Mato Grosso is the leader in the production of soybeans, corn, cotton, and beef, and ships its production to other states and also to the main ports in Brazil for export.
“We took this action to stimulate the growth of electric or hybrid vehicles in Mato Grosso, given that we believe this is the future, including for cargo vehicles. Attention to the environment is in our DNA and we have decided to take this step forward”, comments the CEO of Rota do Oeste, Júlio Perdigão.
For the Brazilian Association of Owners of Innovative Electric Vehicles (ABRAVEi), this is an important step for the national infrastructure, serving as an example for other companies to adopt the technology and promote electric mobility in the country. According to the president of ABRAVEi, Rogério Markiewicz, around 35 thousand electrified vehicles are registered all over Brazil, considering the three models: 100% electric, plug-in hybrid and the simple hybrid. Considering only vehicles powered exclusively by electric energy there are approximately 3,5 thousand units, out of a range of 45 million vehicles in the current licensed fleet in the country.
“Electric mobility is still growing and I believe that this expansion will not take long. Currently, we have three main difficulties that hinder this development: the price of the vehicles, which are still imported, the lack of information about the benefits offered and the road supply infrastructure, which is not yet sufficient. Therefore, the importance of the work done by Rota do Oeste in pushing this market is beyond doubt. It is an extraordinary initiative,” points out Markiewicz.
In Brazil, the offer of recharging points on road stretches is usually possible through partnerships between local businesses and electric energy concessionaires and/or by ABRAVEi itself.
The latest service available on the federal highway, in Mato Grosso, was tested and approved by lawyer Marcus Macedo, who traveled the stretch under concession three times in September alone. Living in Matupá, in the extreme north of the state, the lawyer owns a blue BMW i3 and says that now he no longer has to worry about traveling along the highway under concession. “Formerly, I had to look for places that offered me conditions to recharge my vehicle, and I even had to use the Rota do Oeste tow truck service twice because I couldn’t refuel. That has changed. Now I can plan and travel calmly.”
The equipment installed in the terminals is Schneider Electric’s EVLink, 22kW AC semi-rapid recharging type, installed by Effix Engenharia, responsible for the installation of more than 30 recharge points throughout Brazil and Bolivia. Director of Engineering at Effix, Daniel Bermudez explains that the model ensures that any vehicle can use the service at the maximum power supported by the car.
As part of the service developed by Effix for Rota do Oeste is the use of the app, which allows the driver to check the available refueling points, availability of use, and also the chance to book a recharge point up to 15 minutes in advance. “The app is a boost to the project, reassuring the user that they will be able to recharge within the planned time, without having to wait for two hours in case someone else is using the totem when they arrive.
In order to fuel up at Rota do Oeste’s totems, the driver must access and register on the Tupinambá application (available on the App Store and Google Play or by QR Code present at each station). The platform enables the user to identify more than 750 supply points, including the six available on BR-163. Through the application, the user can check the availability of the stations and the distance between them. In order to start recharging, it is necessary to scan the QR Code on the refueling totem.
Recharging points and use of the service
Rondonópolis – SAU 02, km 73
Santo Antônio de Leverger – SAU 06, km 338.6 of BR-364
Várzea Grande – SAU 08, km 434.6 of BR-364
Diamantino – SAU 12, km 546.9
Lucas do Rio Verde – SAU 14, km 640.7
Sorriso – SAU 17, km 784.7
With a permanent focus on the environment, the provision of electric vehicle recharging by Rota do Oeste complements the range of actions already undertaken by the Concessionaire in Mato Grosso. The services developed by the company during the seven years of the concession have placed BR-163/MT, for two consecutive years, as one of the five federal highways in Brazil that best perform activities oriented to environmental care and preservation practices, according to the Environmental Performance Index (IDA) of the National Agengy for Land Transportation (ANTT). Rota do Oeste also received the Green Seal, validated by the National Council for Environmental Defense (CNDA), which appraises the existing ecological and environmental solutions in the services provided.