470 electric buses in delivery in Colombia

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China’s electric vehicle manufacturer BYD is delivering Colombia’s largest electric bus fleet to run in and around the capital, Bogota.

The order from the Bogota City Government and Bogota City Public Transport Authority (Transmilenio S.A) is expected to provide a major boost to the electrification of public transport in Colombia, in Latin America and more broadly across the Americas.

The first batch of 120 ebuses has been delivered and are in operation on nine routes across Bogota. The remaining 350 units are expected to be put on the other 30 routes during the first quarter of 2021. With these, a total of 302,000 passengers will become users of a zero-emission bus service.

The 120 buses include 12m and 9m models, with a passenger capacity of 80 and 50 people respectively. They take 1.5 to 2.5 hours to fully charge and offer a cruising range greater than 300km on a single charge, which is sufficient for a full day’s use with the buses averaging a daily operating distance of 260km.

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Compared with diesel buses, the electric bus fleet should save 12,500t of carbon dioxide and 2.5t of dust particles from being emitted every year.

“Today is a historic day that we can record in the history of Bogota,” said Claudia Nayibe López Hernández, the Mayor of Bogota on delivery of the first ebuses.

“We want to buy more electric buses, preferably, that allow us to remove the old diesel and gasoline fleet, and renew it with clean, electric buses, providing more and better services for citizens.”

Along with the ebus fleet, a set of charging stations are being delivered by the local utility Enel-Codensa. The first, located in the Fontibon district on the west side of Bogota, is equipped with 56 double-gun electric chargers with a power of 150kW.

Three further charging stations are due to be put into operation in other districts of the city.

By then, Bogota will operate a total of 483 electric buses.

The buses were purchased by Colombia’s bus procurement company Celsia and have a concession duration of 15 years.