Electric Buses

Electric Buses

Enel X promotes clean public transport for a pollution-free country.

The first step came in 2016, with a joint initiative in which Enel and the Santiago City Government worked together to implement Chile’s first electric bus, providing free transit for locals and visitors in the city center. The free bus ran until the end of 2017. In August 2018 the bus was moved to the city of Concepción, again providing service free of charge to passengers.

These experiences laid the groundwork for Enel X, together with the Government of Chile and MetBus, to launch a project for “Electric Buses on the Av. Grecia Route”. 

Enel X acquired a total of 100 electric buses from Chinese manufacturer BYD; the units will be operated permanently by the company MetBus on its Route 516, joining the much-vaunted electrical route on Av. Grecia in Santiago, Chile.

They have zero impact on pollutant emissions, and also provide a cheaper option in terms of operating costs, which are up to 70% lower than diesel-powered units. The new electric buses cost 70 Chilean pesos per kilometer traveled, while traditional buses run at around 300 pesos per kilometer.

Another important advantage for users is the lower noise level, both within the bus and externally, making is a responsible option for transit through heavily populated areas.

The new buses were designed based on experience from the users and passengers of the first two units, which arrived in 2017 and were operated on Route 516 by MetBus, leading to a number of improvements that enhance safety factors.

This major step, and the model used to make the first 100 buses viable, makes Chile a benchmark for electric transport in Latin America, with a formula that could be replicated in other countries.

User experience

November 2017 saw the official incorporation of the first two electric buses into Santiago’s urban mass transport fleet. The vehicles were acquired by Enel and operated by MetBus, in a groundbreaking partnership for the country. 

Fieldwork studies have found that the features that users valued most highly were the air conditioning and quieter transit offered by the electric buses. This has also encouraged passengers to care for the vehicles they travel in, with only a few minor scratches to the interior of the units. Meanwhile, their entry into the traffic system has helped to reduce fare evasion, showing an advance in the country’s transport system.

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