Transantiago’s first pure electric buses hit the roads

SANTIAGO – The first two 100% electric buses in the history of Santiago City’s public transport have begun operating in the Chilean capital.

With the incorporation of these two K9FE buses by Clean energy giant BYD, the Chinese electric car and bus company part-owned by Warren Buffett, Chile moves forward as one of the pioneers in the field of electromobility in Latin America, consolidating the new requirements included in Transantiago’s bidding basis.

The inaugural ceremony was witnessed Tuesday by the Minister of Transportation, Paola Tapia; the Minister of Energy, Andrés Rebolledo and the Minister of Environment, Jorge Canals.

These buses – purchased by Chile’s energy company Enel as part of its strategy to support and boost electrified mobility in the country – have started operating the capital’s route 516 in the hands of Metbus transport operators in regular services for Transantiago. Their routes will include the most important arteries of 8 districts of the city.

Secretary of State, Paola Tapia, assured that “Electromobility is not the future; it is the present we are living today in the capital’s transportation system. We are moving forward in providing quality for users by incorporating the electric buses today, fulfilling the commitment to offer more comfort, greater service efficiency and care for the environment. In 2018 we will have another 90 of these buses circulating; making us electrified public transportation pioneers in Latin America.

“Our embrace of this technology prioritizes passengers, which forms the basis of the bidding process.”

Paola said that this strategy highlights the importance of electric vehicles, for their significant contribution to the reduction of pollutants and noise levels in areas of high exposure.”

The Minister of Environment, Jorge Canals, said that “the metropolitan region suffers increased pollution problems during winter, largely by emissions from mobile sources. Therefore, the incorporation of these electric buses comes as a cleaner alternative in urban transport. It is important to emphasize that a vehicle during traffic congestion contaminates 4 times more than one circulating normally”.

The Minister of Energy, Andrés Rebolledo, explained 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 General Manager of E-Solutions of Enel Chile, Simone Tripepi, commented that “at Enel we want to be part of the solution of important issues such as the decontamination of cities. Therefore, we have strongly promoted electric mobility in Chile, based on clean energy and lower prices as compared to other fuels. We have the capacity to provide the necessary electrical infrastructure to facilitate the dissemination of electrified public transportation in Santiago and regions”.

According to the information available, the operational costs will be reduced by 70% compared to conventional diesel buses, reaching a value of 70 Chilean pesos per kilometer, against 300 Chilean pesos for diesel. The full charge of the vehicle has a cost of 19,500 Chilean pesos. BYD’s new energy vehicle footprint currently covers over 200 cities in 50 countries and regions.