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Company led by graduate of Universidad de Santiago promotes electric conversion of conventional cars

  • Movener, a company led by an alumnus of Universidad de Santiago, seeks to transform national transport, reducing environmental pollution levels and increasing the useful life of conventional cars at a low cost.


The number of vehicles in Chile has increased exponentially in the last 17 years, with more than 5 million cars on the road network, according to the Chilean National Statistics Institute (INE, in Spanish). Among them, only 179 are electric cars, in a context where major car manufacturers like China, France, Holland and Germany are planning to stop producing internal-combustion cars between 2025 and 2040 to reduce climate change impact and introduce clean technologies.

Due to the high cost of electric cars −between 25 to 50 million Chilean pesos− and the interest in promoting environmental awareness, a team led by Gonzalo Pacheco, a graduate civil mechanical engineer of Universidad de Santiago, decided to modify traditional cars and convert them into electric ones, substantially reducing their cost and maintenance. “A converted electric car can cost 5 million Chilean pesos: 6 times cheaper than any other car,” Pacheco says.

Currently, Movener has a prototype of a reconditioned car. It is a classic urban camper Citröen Berlingo, equipped with a 60 h.p. electric motor, a controller and a battery bank. It has a range of 70 kilometers and it can be recharged at any electric charging facility for an hour or at an electric outlet at home for six hours; it has a useful life of ten years.

The project seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offer an affordable alternative to the community. It also allows to recycle old cars and reduce maintenance costs by 70% and energy consumption by 60%.


After Pacheco graduated from Universidad de Santiago, he decided to “revolutionize national transport and make the access to electric cars more democratic” with the idea of converting a Berlingo camper in a 100% electric car, with 100 kilometers of range per hour.

He gathered together a team of experts in electric mobility. They were mechanical, electrical and business engineers and designers and technicians form the first solar energy team of Universidad de Santiago (ESUS) founded and led by Pacheco until 2014. The project was funded with a seed capital provided by the Chilean Economic Development Agency, with the support of Innovo Center of Universidad de Santiago.

Currently in Chile there is not any regulatory framework for car conversion; for this reason, Movener is working with the Ministries of Transport and Energy to promote an electric mobility policy. Pacheco explains that they expect the authorities to understand that, on the one hand, electric conversion of cars is cheaper in terms of electric mobility, and on the other, it provides a solution to the problem of what to do with traditional cars when they are no longer in use.

Movener is already providing workshops and training courses on car conversion, post-sale services, renewable energy and electric mobility solutions, charging stations and lithium batteries.

Translated by Marcela Contreras

Soledad Fuentes Mansilla