Since 2018, Enel X has put 1,536 electric buses on Santiago’s city streets working with Metbus (one of the city’s six private bus operators working for public transport operator RED) and China’s BYD, a manufacturer, in a public-private partnership. The new e-Buses created by the Enel X-BYD partnership are silent, safe, ecological and can reduce operating costs by up to 70% compared to a diesel bus. They are powered by 16 electro terminals, some with rooftop photovoltaic panels, that have become symbols of sustainability and digitalization in the areas where they are located, and 324 electrical bus charging stations. More than 40 new state-of-the-art bus stops include free WiFi, USB chargers, bus arrival time displays, solar panels, LED lighting and wheelchair access. Each electric bus contributes to a reduction in carbon emissions equal to the CO₂ produced by 33 cars.
A public-private partnership for sustainable mobility
The partnership between Enel X and bus service operator Metbus began in 2017, when Santiago’s first two 100% electric buses went into operation. After a year-long pilot, operating costs were calculated at $0.10/km, compared to a cost of $0.43/km for a comparable diesel bus. RED, the public transport agency for the Santiago Metropolitan Region, decided to push ahead with an ambitious electrification plan in 2018 with the purchase of 100 electric buses supplied by Enel X with Chinese manufacturer BYD. By 2021-2022 the number of electric buses had risen to 235. By 2023, the RED aims to have a fleet of over 1,700 e-Buses, making it the largest in Latin America. This significant “green” success was achieved thanks to the public-private partnership involving Enel X, Metbus, RED, and the Chilean Ministry of Transport.
At Enel X we are proud to promote electromobility within the city of Santiago. To date, we have contributed 80% of the electric buses of public transport and implemented 16 electro terminals that deliver efficient charging to the system of 324 chargers, maintaining the service's operation at 100%.
General Manager Enel X Chile
The environmental impact of the electric buses
The electric buses produced by BYD have no environmental impact in terms of polluting emissions and are also markedly cheaper to run, costing up to 70% less compared with conventional diesel buses. In actual fact, the cost per kilometer is 70 pesos for electric buses, while for conventional buses the amount is nearer 300 pesos.
Another important advantage both for passengers on board and for the noise levels in the city is the extremely low noise pollution emitted by the buses, especially as they are operating in densely populated areas.
An electric Bus to fight Covid-19 in Santiago
The Covid-19 pandemic forced local administrations around the world to seek simple and effective solutions to make sure molecular testing was available to all. Working with three local partners, Enel X outfitted one of Santiago’s electric buses as a mobile testing laboratory equipped with Wi-Fi, two nurses, one nursing technician and an administrator. The electric bus laboratory shuttled between the communities of La Pintana and Puente Alto – in the southern part of the metropolitan region of Santiago – carrying out molecular testing for residents in economic difficulty or who were unable to travel. The bus carried out between 40 and 60 molecular tests each day, free of charge.