For the BYD factory workers in Shenzhen, China, it is not a novelty to produce electric buses. In that city, 16,000 electric buses circulate as part of the public transport system. However, the buses that they are finishing assembling these days are very special for the inhabitants of a city located almost 19,000 kilometers away: in Santiago de Chile, they are looking forward to the arrival of 100 units at the end of November that will become part of the capital city’s public transport system marking the beginning of its modernizing process.
Two electric buses currently circulate on Route #516 operated by Metbus. Last June, users rated this service with a score of 6.3, highlighting its modernity and contribution to the environment. Unlike diesel buses, these buses emit almost no noise, are more stable, and include features such as Wi Fi and wireless chargers for smartphones.
This is a daily reality in the public transport of Shenzhen, and the goal is to transform it into a reality for Santiago. The new buses will be part of Chile and Latin America’s first "electric bus route", leaving the Corredor Grecia as an exclusive lane for electric transport. The buses will also circulate through municipalities such as Maipú, Pudahuel, Lo Prado, Estación Central, Santiago, Ñuñoa, Peñalolén, and Providencia.
For this, Enel X has collaborated in the implementation of two "Electric-terminals" that will be powered by photovoltaic energy to charge the buses. This revolutionary change will begin at the end of 2018 thanks to the public-private partnership between Enel, BYD, Metbus, and the Ministry of Transport.