More electric buses on the road in Santiago, Chile


These Santiago buses are charged partly with power from solar panels atop the bus ports (Photo: BYD)

Dozens of new red and white buses parked abreast gleam under the sun in the Peñalolén section of Santiago. The site is a terminal of Metbus, one of the six private companies holding concessions for bus transit in the Chilean capital. A closer look reveals the buses are being fueled, but not with diesel. Each one is connected to a charging station, its batteries drinking in the electricity that powers a growing percentage of Santiago’s bus fleet. In March Chilean President Sebastián Piñera formally put 100 electric buses in service, bringing the number of battery-powered buses in Santiago’s fleet to 200. Said Piñera: “Santiago already is the city with the world’s greatest number of electric buses outside of China, and we’re going to stay on the same path.” Other Latin American nations are following suit, with Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador among those taking initial steps—though none is as... [Log in to read more]

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