A further 150 BYD electric buses went into service in Santiago de Chile, bringing the total number of BYD electric buses in Chile to 455. Among other things, the new bus shipment will serve Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins, known as Alameda, in the historic part of the city.
In Autumn last year, in cooperation with Enel X and Metbus BYD set up the first electric bus corridor in Latin America in the Chilean capital. Now the expansion of the fleet is progressing. With 455 electric buses now in service in Chile, the Chinese company claims to lead the market for electric buses in the country with a share of 65 per cent. In general, the majority of the electric buses commuting in Santiago come from China – Yutong is also strongly represented alongside BYD.
The background to this major acquisition is a new quality standard for urban transport introduced by the Chilean Ministry of Transport at the end of 2018. In order to meet this standard in terms of environmental friendliness, the country’s operators are purchasing purely electric or diesel-powered vehicles complying with the Euro 6 standard. The fleet assembled in this way is to comprise “a total of 2,219 vehicles in the coming months”. In Santiago de Chile alone, 800 electric buses are to be in operation by the end of the year. As a long-term goal, the government has set the complete electrification of public transport by 2040.
Chile is a pioneer in Latin America with so many electric buses. Statistically speaking, less than one per cent of the continent’s city buses currently run on electricity. Meanwhile, a project called ZEBRA (Zero Emission Bus Rapid-deployment Accelerator) is dedicated to accelerating the rollout of electric buses in Latin America. The initial focus is on the major cities of Medellin, Mexico City, São Paulo and Santiago de Chile, where a cumulative total of around 50,000 buses are in operation.
In the course of the project, the knowledge gained in Santiago from the use of electric buses will be extracted in order to share the know-how with the other three cities. After all, they are still at the beginning of their fleet conversion.
Source: press release via email
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