China-based new energy company and electric vehicle titan BYD has inked its largest bus deal in its history in the Americas with a new deal for 100 fully electric BYD buses in Santiago, Chile. The new buses will go into operation in November of this year, when BYD hands them over to transit operator Transantiago.
BYD and partner ENEL have been piloting two fully electric buses in the city since November of last year as city officials looked to determine the future technology for Santiago’s arterial bus routes. BYD and ENEL signed a strategic partnership in 2016 that looks to stack ENEL’s expertise in infrastructure and electric vehicle charging on top of BYD’s decades of experience in stationary energy storage and electric vehicles in a move that said ‘together, we are stronger.’
The new buses will be operated by transit operator Metbus in the Transantiago public transportation system on some of Santiago’s busiest routes. As with all BYD buses, these will be start with a foundation of BYD’s lithium ferro phosphate battery technology on which local transit options and regulatory requirements for the Chilean market will be added.
“Operating a BYD pure electric bus is equivalent to reducing carbon emissions from 33 cars,” BYD Chile spokesperson Tamara Berríos said. “In addition, BYD pure electric buses are safe, quiet and can reduce operating costs by as much as 70 percent. Moreover, a BYD pure electric bus only requires 70 Chilean Pesos to run per kilometer, compared to 350 Chilean Pesos per kilometer for internal combustion engine buses. We believe that we can deliver on both quality and safety.”
Electrification of transit buses in Chile has been driven by local advocates of vehicle electrification on the Metbus team as well as a nationwide desire to eliminate the need to import fuel. Chile’s Minister of Energy, Andrés Rebolledo, explained at the commissioning of the first two electric buses that, “the entry of these first two electric buses are great news for a country like Chile, since the transport sector represents one third of the energy consumption, and it imports practically all the fuel used for transportation.”
The new deal in Chile comes as the next in a long line of big deals BYD has landed in South America including a SkyRail line in the Brazilian city of Salvador and a deal for 200 BYD garbage trucks also in Brazil that build on BYD’s expansion into the region with the electric bus factory in opened in Ecuador last year, among others.
The push into developing markets demonstrate just how competitive electric vehicles can be on a purely financial basis, without even taking into account the noise and emissions benefits they also bring to the table. On top of that, replacing diesel transit buses with fully electric buses is a way for cities to clean up the air in urban areas which results in a healthier population over the long haul.
Source: BYD | Automotive World