Chile receives Chinese electric buses to help clear pollution
The purchase of Chinese-made electric buses is part of Chile’s drive to curb air pollution, and plans are afoot to drastically increase the adoption of electric vehicles more generally
As part of ambitious plans to reduce air pollution, Chile recently took delivery of its first batch of Chinese-made electric buses, representing an important new market for Chinese exporters.
The first 100 buses arrived at the port of San Antonio at the end of November. They were manufactured by BYD Electronic International Co Ltd, and the buses and charging stations were financed by the local subsidiary of the Italian power utility Enel. They will be operated by private transport company Metbus.
Local Chilean press said that BYD and Enel are also in talks with the governments of Brazil, Peru and Colombia with regard to introducing the same model.
Another 100 buses on order for routes in Santiago are being financed by French energy generation firm Engie Energia Chile. They are being manufactured by Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co Ltd .
Chile has plans to radically reduce emissions, not only with electric buses, but also through amendments to taxis and even some trucks used in the mining industry. Capital city Santiago is notorious for its smog, and poor air quality has become a day-to-day concern of its inhabitants, rather than an abstract debate about reducing emissions under the Paris Agreement.
Chile is the world's largest copper producer, and also the second largest producer of lithium, which is used in a electric auto batteries.
Chile intends to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road tenfold by 2022. Energy Minister Susana Jimenez has said that the government wants electric vehicles to account for 40% of Chile's private fleet, and 100% of public transportation, by 2050.
The Ministry of Energy is also holding discussions about electric trucks for use in the mining industry, and state-owned company Codelco has already initiated a pilot scheme.
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