The first 100 Chinese-made electric buses have arrived at a Chilean port and join the Transantiago, the capital Santiago’s mass transportation system, serving the route covering the centre of Grecia Avenue.
Bus exterior uses the Chilean flag color of red and white and provides air conditioning system, USB charging ports inside and Wi-Fi to serve a generation of people who can’t live without electronic devices. The 12-meter-long bus can accommodate up to 81 people – 30 of them sitting and 51 standing – providing them with a quiet and pollution-free journey.
More importantly, these buses are actually non-polluting and do not emit carbon dioxide or other types of greenhouse gases because they do not have internal combustion engines. And according to data from the Chilean Ministry of Transport, electric bus operations and maintenance costs are also about 70% lower than diesel engines.
According to Chile’s Metropolitan Public Transport Board, as part of the pilot project, Chinese-made electric buses have been running on the streets of Santiago for several months. According to a joint survey conducted by Chile’s Ministry of Energy, as well as Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications, local passengers rated the electric bus at 6.3 points (a total of 7 points), which is much higher than the average of 4.6 points for the Santiago public transportation system.
The 100 buses arrived in Port San Antonio, Chile at the end of November, and were manufactured by Chinese company BYD Electronic International Co., Ltd., funded by the local subsidiary of the Italian power utility Enel Generacion Chile SA. Another 100 electric buses were funded by French energy generation firm Engie Energia Chile SA and manufactured by Chinese company Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co., Ltd.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced that a total of 690 Chinese brands BYD buses will enter the Santiago’s transportation system, 200 electric and 490 Diesel Euro VI. According to the Ministry of Energy, it also plans to increase the total number of existing 40 public charging stations (half of which are in Santiago) to 200. These have made Chile the country with the largest electric bus fleet in Latin America.
A UN study says that if the current fleet of buses and taxis is replaced by electric vehicles in 22 Latin American cities today, nearly $64 billion in fuel would be saved by 2030, and 300 million tons less of carbon dioxide equivalent would be released into the air.