Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, is launching a tender procedure for the purchase of no fewer than 594 electric buses to be integrated into the TransMilenio metro bus system as early as next year.
Bogotá would then have the largest fleet of electric buses in Latin America, claims mayor Enrique Peñalosa. The bid to up-grade TransMilenio transit system has been in works since 2018 and consists of a two-phase implementation.
The initial 594 electric buses of various sizes only mark the first phase. A second stage will include other low emission technologies with a view to a total fleet of 2,700 vehicles.
So far the tender has found interest from BYD, Miysui – Caetano, Siemens, Sunwin, Youtong, Yinlong, Dongfeng, Sinotruck, Foton, and Zhongtong.
The TM buses will have a capacity to transport an average of 80 passengers, with the smaller SITP Busetón seating 50 and so-called Buseta 40 people. The coaches will all charge at dedicated depots, and the suppliers have a contract for 15 years.
While Bogotá is going for smaller buses now, mayor Peñalosa remarked during his announcement that no manufacturer currently makes a high-floor electric articulated bus. The Colombian city uses a few of such extra long buses in its BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) service, albeit with internal combustion engines. However, BYD presented what they call the world’s longest electric bus only this April. The K12A is 27 metres long, seats 250 passengers, has a top speed of 70 km/h and a range of 300 kilometres. Back at the presentation, the Chinese manufacturer mentioned that the XXL bus was primarily developed for the South American market, for example, for large cities such as Bogotá. Given the mayor’s comment, it is unclear what will come out of this in future or if he has not noted the model, yet.