BYD on October 15 launched Latin America’s first electric bus corridor serviced by electric buses from BYD in the Chilean capital of Santiago, in partnership with local operators Enel X and Metbus, which was attended by Chilean President, Sebastián Piñera; Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Gloria Hutt; Minister of Energy, Juan Carlos Jobet; Minister of the Environment, Carolina Schmidt and other officials, plus executives from COP25. This move consolidates Chile as the region’s leader in electric mobility, with a total fleet of 285 operational pure electric buses from BYD.
With the BYD pure electric buses, Chile now has 386 pure electric buses (74% of which are BYD-made), making Santiago the city in the world with the biggest pure electric bus fleet outside of China.
“We are taking this great leap forward and into the future”, said the President after taking a tour on a BYD electric bus from Ñuñoa to the new electric terminal in Peñalolén. “This new public transportation system will allow us to improve the quality of life of all inhabitants.” Ministers, local officials and other executes accompanied him, including the Country Manager of BYD Chile, Tamara Berríos, and senior representatives from Enel Chile and Metbus.
“The current 285 BYD pure electric buses operating in Santiago are reducing emissions equivalent to more than 9,400 conventional cars”, said Tamara Berríos, Country Manager of BYD Chile. “BYD is proud to contribute its technology towards the first 100% electric bus corridor in Latin America. We hope to continue building our dreams of a cleaner city with our sustainable transport solutions.”
The BYD electric buses are emissions-free and cost-effective, being 70% cheaper compared to conventional diesel buses. The cost per kilometer is about 0.1 US dollars for electric buses, while that of a traditional bus rises to about 0.4 US dollars per kilometer. They come with large-capacity batteries that provide a range of 250 km and take just 5 hours to be fully charged. The buses’ quiet operation makes them friendly for use in highly populated areas. In addition, they come with universal accessibility, greater comfort, greater security, more comfortable and wide seats, low flooring, Wi-Fi, air conditioning and USB chargers.
Serving one of the main routes of the city’s transit system, the new fleet will benefit about 660 thousand people across nine communities: Maipú, Central Station, Santiago, Ñuñoa, Peñalolén, Pudahuel, Cerro Navia, Quinta Normal, and Lo Prado. Since their arrival, users have positively rated the buses, which reached a score of 6.3 (out of 7.0) in a satisfaction survey conducted by the Ministry of Transportation.
The BYD electric buses are recharged at electric terminals located in the Peñalolén and Maipú districts. These can handle all the buses, making charging schedules and distribute power, in order to provide the vehicles with enough range for a full days’ operation. To provide a reliable power source to recharge the buses, high, medium and low voltage paths have been built on-site, plus an energy transformation center.
The project includes the use of 40 bus stops for the new corridor, all the stops will include LED lighting, information screens, USB chargers, bicycle parking, and more – all with the aim of improving users’ travel experience.
As the city prepares for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP25, this first pure electric corridor is a tangible and far-reaching effort to the cause of environmental protection. According to Santiago’s environmental plan, 50% of the city’s fleet will be replaced with pure electric in the near future.
At present, BYD pure electric buses are successfully servicing markets in many countries across Latin America, including Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, and Uruguay. Globally, BYD’s pure electric buses and taxis have spread to over 300 cities, in more than 50 countries and regions.