In the metropolitan region of Santiago, Chile, electric buses, bicycles and car-sharing are revolutionising mobility
Enel Distribución Chile is one of the country’s leading companies in electricity distribution, both in terms of customer numbers and for the activities carried out. Operating in 33 districts of the metropolitan region and with 18 million potential users, the company’s main objectives also include raising awareness about energy efficiency and environmental issues.
With 6 million inhabitants and 400 thousand active companies, the country’s capital Santiago is currently experiencing an intense period of residential and industrial expansion. Thanks also to the fruitful collaboration with institutions such as the Comisión Nacional de Energía, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Industry and Industrial Association, Enel Distribución Chile holds a dominant position in new green businesses such as e-mobility.
Enel Distribución Chile’s activities are designed with the aim of offering added value and using technologically innovative proposals to solve the challenges relating to environmental issues, with an overall goal of increasingly growing a culture of sustainability.
The actions put in place in 2017 to promote electric mobility across the country were targeted, with particular attention dedicated to the populous capital. New alliances have been established in this regard with important commercial partners, such as the agreements between BYD and Enel for the supply of e-buses and batteries, and with Metbus to incorporate electric buses into the commercial ITS fleet (Sistemas Inteligentes de Transporte).
In the centre of the Chilean capital, the first 100% electric bus with free on board Wi-Fi and charging stations for passengers has been operational since May 2016. The bus recharges fully overnight and has already transported more than 10,000 people.
E-buses are not only a clever, innovative and distinctive sign of the mobility of the future, but are also a profitable business opportunity. In fact, the fleet of 6,500 vehicles of Transantiago, the system that manages the city’s public transport, will be completely renewed between 2018 and 2022. The Ministry of Transport, Enel and Metbus announced an alliance to introduce the first buses, for which Enel provides the installation and the overnight charging infrastructure, in addition to the energy itself.
Another initiative to promote a cultural shift towards good environmental practices was the decision of the municipality of Las Condes, in the province of Santiago, to offer free public parking for all electric vehicles.
To promote the concept of sustainability also on four wheels, public events have been organised to inform citizens about electric mobility. After attending the Formula E race in Buenos Aires, in February 2017 the Ministry of Energy took up the challenge of bringing electric racing cars to Santiago, organising the ABB FIA Formula E Championship’s first race in Chile. In April 2017, Enel founded the first Electric Mobility Group - a group of volunteers comprising independent organisations and companies - with the common aim of promoting all the actions necessary to make e-mobility an effectively viable reality in Chile.
Another feather in the cap of sustainable mobility is undoubtedly the electric bicycle. Thanks to the partnership with Bike Santiago, Enel is currently participating in the development of new charging stations for e-bikes. Lo Barnechea, the country’s first municipality to introduce electric bicycles, has set the bar but the e-bike sharing business is quickly gaining ground in the other cities in the province of Santiago as well, making Bike Santiago a leader in the sector.
Enel is also installing LED screens at the charging stations and renting these spaces to advertising companies, thereby offering low-impact visibility and commercial opportunities.
Over the last few years Enel Distribución Chile has been involved in the launch of electric taxis in the country with vehicles from the company BYD; the electric taxis offer the same rates as the traditional taxi service.
These innovative taxis offer important advantages compared to conventional vehicles. First of all, they are three times more efficient than petrol vehicles, they produce no noise and do not emit any polluting gases. Furthermore, recharging costs are much lower than refuelling a petrol vehicle.
The challenge that Enel Distribución Chile has taken up is clear, and the path ahead is well lit. To offer affordable electric mobility and make it a normal part of daily life.