New energy powerhouse BYD won a contract to supply 64 of its electric buses to the Colombian city of Medellín. The new contract represents a milestone for Colombia as it establishes what will be the largest fleet of electric buses in Colombia and the second-largest electric bus fleet in Latin America, behind BYD’s recent delivery of 100 buses in Santiago, Chile, late last year.
Metroplús, the local operator of the BRT system, purchased 64 of BYD’s 12.5-meter K9G buses that will be delivered in the back half of 2019 and represent a significant step on the road to a clean energy fleet of buses for the city of Medellín.
“We will turn Medellín into the capital of electric mobility in Latin America. The tender for electric buses is ready for Metroplus and the city. There will be 64 electric buses, to be operating in August, making this the largest electric bus fleet in the country”, said Mayor Federico Gutiérrez. “We are working together with the rest of the C40 cities to battle climate change,” he continued, highlighting the city’s broader commitment to not only cleaning up its transit fleet, but to leading the charge to combat catastrophic climate change.
The city made the decision to move forward with the large purchase of 64 buses after Metroplús bought and piloted a fully-electric BYD K11 18-meter articulated bus in 2017. As part of the pilot, more than 50,000 kilometers | 31,000 miles were put on the K11 around town, delivering savings of 60% in operating costs and 75% in maintenance compared to traditional diesel-powered articulated buses.
Each of the new BYD K9Gs will be able to haul up to 80 passengers more than 300 kilometers | 186 miles per day, with only a 2-hour recharge per bus per day. A network of chargers will be installed with different charge points across the city to keep the buses charged up while providing flexible options for the transit operator to charge where they need to, when they need to.
The long range of the BYD K9G was a critical factor for Metroplús in selecting BYD for the 64-bus contract after determining that BYD’s vehicles could indeed deliver on the stated range in the 2017 pilot.
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