Chinese-made electric buses arrive in Chile


The world's longest pure electric bus, which was launched by BYD on April 1, 2019 in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. (Photo: China Daily)

SAN ANTONIO, Chile, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- After a 31-day journey from Shanghai, 100 Chinese-made electric buses landed at the port of San Antonio, where local officials in red vests gathered to welcome this latest addition to the Chilean capital's mass transport fleet.

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

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

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

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 that another 83 BYD buses will be 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 on hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December, Chile is making headway in promoting electromobility, she said.