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Overhaul of public transportation in Santiago begins with the arrival of the first 100 electric buses

The vehicles, which were made in China, arrived at the Port of San Antonio on Saturday morning. The new BYD buses will be operated by Metbus and will be used on the stretch of road between the districts of Peñalolén and Ñuñoa in Santiago known as the Grecia corridor.

The first 100 electric buses that will be incorporated into Santiago’s transportation system arrived at the Port of San Antonio early Saturday morning. The vehicles, which were made in China, will be used on the Grecia corridor, the first section of a public transportation system in Latin America to use only electric vehicles.

“President Piñera’s administration took on the challenge of making Chile a pioneer in the area of electromobility, and the introduction of the first 100 electric buses is part of that effort. The arrival of the first 100 such vehicles and the shipment of an additional 100 from China is the first step in what will be the new standard for the transportation system as defined in the Third Millennium Transportation Plan,” remarked Transportation Minister Gloria Hutt.

This change in the transportation system will be the first result of the improved standard for the new public tender system, which will guarantee that users will have better travel experiences. New non-polluting technology offers service that users perceive as being higher quality, with a rating of 6.3 on a scale of 7 according to a user perception study conducted by the Metropolitan Public Transportation Board (Directorio de Transporte Público Metropolitano, DTPM).

The new vehicles vibrate less, are more comfortable due to the spaciousness and quality of the seats, and offer air conditioning, Wi-Fi and USB ports. They are also more accessible due to their low floors and contribute to a better quality of life for travelers because they eliminate noise pollution.

“This first stage will continue with the addition of another 100 electric buses and 490 EURO VI buses, which will gradually be introduced over the course of 2019. These changes will be added to the improvements introduced to the system that will be seen in the new public tender,” said Metropolitan Public Transportation Director Fernando Saka.

This first group of electric vehicles will be operated by MetBus with funding from Enel X and will begin to operate in Santiago in December.

“The arrival of these 100 buses is real proof of our commitment to the development of electromobility, which will allow us to have a more sustainable Santiago. Through our Company, Enel X, we have promoted and led this collaborative process between a private company and the government, which confirms that electromobility is a reality in Chile. This is just the first step towards having a more efficient, zero-emissions transportation system,” said Enel Chile General Manager Paolo Pallotti.

BYD Country Manager Tamara Berríos said that the company is proud “not only to be part of this milestone for Chile’s public transportation sector, but also to create a connection between our country and the best of the innovation and creativity of Chinese industry.”


The technical information of the new vehicles is as follows:
  • 100% electric buses from the company BYD.
  • Each vehicle is 12 meters long and can hold up to 110 people, 80 seated and 30 standing.
  • The buses can be charged in three to four hours.
  • Two alternate motors located in the rear axles of the bus provide up to 150 kW each.
  • The buses can travel up to 250 kilometers on a full charge, which means that they can provide service for an entire day, up to four trips.
  • The buses have a useful life of 10 years.
  • The buses operate more efficiently, offering more economic technology that reduces operating costs by up to 76% compared to the diesel technology in the buses that are currently used. Electric buses cost 70 pesos per kilometer to drive compared to the 300 pesos per kilometer required to operate traditional buses.
  • The new vehicles also offer more safety, with security cameras and cabins for drivers.
  • The buses are easy to access. Each has two doors in order to limit fare evasion, a low floor designed especially for the public transportation system and a ramp for individuals with reduced mobility.
  • The buses have very low noise levels and low vibrations due to their integrated structure, which is composed of a single high-resistance body.
  • The structure also holds the weight of two electric charge batteries that are attached to the roof and the rear part of the vehicle.


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