BOGOTA, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Medellin, Colombia's second-largest city, on Friday unveiled the first fleet of Chinese-made electric buses to join the city's mass transit network.
File photo: VCG
"This is a very important step to turn Medellin into the capital of electric mobility in Latin America," said Mayor Federico Gutierrez.
The 64 buses manufactured by BYD, a leader in the electric vehicle industry, are expected to begin circulating in the next few days.
"We are going to take very good care of them. Today we begin the instructional stage and in the coming days, the commercial stage will gradually begin," said Gutierrez.
The buses will serve to connect the city's different means of transport, especially the subway.
"This fleet will continue to grow," said Gutierrez, noting the city government has committed to replacing conventional buses with 100-percent electric vehicles.
"This is a clear step in the face of global warming. These are local actions that have a global impact. And that's why Medellin is today characterized as one of the world cities that most contributes to the environment," said the mayor.
Initially 15 of the new buses will operate along a major avenue connecting the north and west.
According to Lara Zhang, BYD's regional manager for Latin America, each bus can carry 80 passengers, with wheelchair accessible and equipped with loudspeakers, USB ports, Wi-Fi, and surveillance cameras.
A fleet of 26 electric buses made by China's Sunwin company began to circulate on Sept. 10 in Cali, Colombia's third-largest city and capital of the southwestern department of Valle del Cauca.
A Colombian law that took effect in July calls for at least 30 percent of vehicles acquired by local governments over the next six years to be electric.