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Bogotá orders 596 new electric buses—fleet of 1,485 e-buses will be the largest outside China

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Bogota public transit agency Transmilenio has ordered 596 new BYD electric buses, bringing the city’s electric bus fleet to a total of 1,485 units. The new e-buses are expected to be in operation by 2022, and will operate in the Fontibón, Usme and Perdomo areas.

María Fernanda Ortiz, the General Manager of Transmilenio, proudly claimed bragging rights: “Having one of the two largest electric fleets in Latin America is a point of pride, and shows that we are on the right path in terms of fleet renewal and technological progress.”  The Colombian capital now appears to have the largest electric bus fleet outside China, and has taken the South American title from Santiago de Chile, which has 776 e-buses. The Colombian cities of Medellin and Cali have 65 and 35 electric buses respectively. (Europe’s largest fleet is in Moscow, which operates 450 electric buses, and plans to have 2,600 by 2024.)

The city expects to invest $1.82 billion to purchase the buses, and $1.41 billion to operate them for the 15-year duration of the concession contracts.

The procurement process included incentives to favor Colombian industry. The Chinese firm BYD will assemble the new buses at the Cerritos plant near Pereira. Commercial Manager Alejandro Robledo said, “This positions Bogotá as a leader in the region. For us it is a pride to…manufacture these units in Colombian territory. Construction of the first fleet will begin in July, to be delivered in September, and the next in December to be put into circulation in 2022.”

Juan Luis Mesa, Country Manager for BYD Colombia, told Portal Movilidad: “With this milestone BYD confirms its leadership in Latin America and Colombia on buses of 9 and 12 meters. This will surely open the door for other cities to [undertake] similar initiatives for the health of their inhabitants.”

Source: Portal Movilidad

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