As part of the push for electrification in the Chilean public transport system, Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD delivered 150 new electric buses. With a total of 455 buses in operation, BYD is firmly a leader in the country’s electric bus market, with a 65% share.
Operated by the transit company Metbus, which currently has the largest fleet of electric buses in the Americas, these buses will be incorporated in services that run through Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins, known as the Alameda, the historic central avenue in the Chilean capital.
These new BYD electric buses are increasing the fleet of RED standard buses, which in the coming months will totalize 2,219 high-standard, eco-friendly vehicles, including pure electric or diesel Euro VI, with air conditioning, Wi-Fi connection and USB chargers, among other benefits. Santiago’s electric bus fleet will reach almost 800 units by the end of this year.
RED Mobility is the standard implemented by Chile’s Ministry of Transportation in late 2018, which seeks to establish a new level of quality for city transport, which also began with the launching of the first 100 BYD buses in Chile. Its final objective is the total electrification of public transportation by the year 2040.
The renewal of the fleet will enable it to cover Santiago’s most important bus route and also allows for a change of operator, since the new BYD buses operated by Metbus replace 20% of the fleet from the Colombian operator Express, who did not obtain its contract renewal for this part of the city.
“This process of continuously improving public transportation is a direct benefit for the people. Since last year, the gradual increase in the circulation of high-standard buses in Greater Santiago has improved the service quality as well as feedback from users of the city’s public transit system. We will continue to incorporate more changes in this direction with the next tenders and with the extension of the network to other cities”, highlighted the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Gloria Hutt.
“This new fleet of 150 BYD electric buses will bring citizens more quality trips while improving Santiago’s air quality,” said Tamara Berríos, Country Manager of BYD Chile. “The Alameda project is of great importance due to its visibility as the transformation of the capital’s central avenue. We are convinced that it is necessary to continue promoting the transformation of public transport through electromobility, and BYD will continue to advance in this way.”
With 455 electric buses operating in the Chilean capital, projects in other regions of the country and its secure participation in the tender for the system, BYD Chile is currently an established leader in electrified public transportation across Latin America. So much so that in April 2019, the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, made an exclusive visit to BYD’s global headquarters in Shenzhen as part of a state visit to China, emphasizing the “unlimited opportunities” for future cooperation between his country and BYD.
BYD’s electric buses are currently successfully serving markets in many Latin American countries, including Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay. Globally, BYD’s electric buses and taxis have spread to more than 300 cities, in more than 50 countries and regions.