100 new Chinese-made electric buses arrive in Chile

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/8/3 8:30:33

An electric bus, manufactured by Chinese company BYD, arrives in the port of San Antonio, in the region of Valparaiso, Chile, July 31, 2019. (Xinhua/Jorge Villegas)

After a 31-day journey from Shanghai, 100 Chinese-made electric buses landed here at the port of San Antonio, where local officials donning red vests gathered to welcome this latest addition to the Chilean capital's mass transport fleet.

The BYD-brand buses are equipped with Wi-Fi, USB ports, air-conditioning and other amenities, boasting better passenger experience than traditional petrol-powered buses running the streets in Santiago.

There are 203 Chinese-made electric buses already in service in Santiago's public transport system, drawing praises from drivers and passengers alike.

"China's contribution is significant because they have developed models and vehicles with very good features and of very good quality, and they are also lowering the prices," Chile's Minister of Transportation and Communications Gloria Hutt told Xinhua.

In late 2017, the Chilean government published a National Electromobility Strategy, which outlined actions to ensure that 40 percent of private vehicles and 100 percent of public transport vehicles would be electric by 2050.

Chinese buses have found a promising market in Chile, as the country is striving for its electric mobility and sustainability targets, said Hutt, adding another 83 BYD buses are arriving in Chile in two weeks.

BYD's representative in Chile Tamara Berrios said the quality buses have opened the door of the local market, as more buses are imported to enhance the local mass transit system.

BYD and other Chinese brands have made solid contributions to the electric technology market, where "China is an undisputed leader," said Berrios.

The new buses will run along Santiago's main east-west thoroughfare Grecia Avenue, which will become Latin America's first "electric corridor" for public transportation.

The Chilean government plans to have at least 2,000 electric buses circulating in Santiago by the end of 2020, with 300 to 500 buses serving surrounding communities.

Chile is now at the forefront of sustainable mobility, with one of the world's largest mass transit electric bus fleets, said Chilean Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt.

With an eye to hosting United Nations Climate Change Conference in December, Chile is making headway in promoting electromobility, she said.

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