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China’s leading electric vehicle maker BYD launched Latin America’s first electric bus corridor on Tuesday in the Chilean capital of Santiago, in partnership with local operators Enel X and Metbus.
This move consolidates Chile as the region’s leader in electric mobility, with a total fleet of 285 operational pure electric buses from BYD. Chile now has 386 such vehicles, and Santiago has the world’s biggest operator of a pure electric bus fleet outside China.
“We are taking this great leap forward and into the future,” said Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, after traveling 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.”
Tamara Berríos, Country Manager of BYD Chile, said: “The current 285 BYD pure electric buses operating in Santiago are reducing emissions equivalent to more than 9,400 conventional cars.
“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 to operate than conventional diesel buses. Their operational cost per kilometer is about $0.1, compared to about $0.4 per kilometer. They come with large-capacity batteries that provide a range of 250 km and take only five hours to be fully charged.
A BYD press release said the Santiago buses offer greater comfort and greater security, with 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 660,000 people across nine communities.
They are recharged at electric terminals located in the Peñalolén and Maipú districts.
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.
As the city prepares for the upcoming Santiago Climate Change Conference, 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 become pure electric in the near future.
BYD pure electric buses currently operate in many markets across Latin America, including Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, and Uruguay. Globally, BYD buses and taxis can be found in over 300 cities of more than 50 countries and regions.