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BYD sells electric buses to Chile, Volvo a fleet to Dubai

By Graeme Roberts | 12 June 2019

The Chilean minister of transportation and telecommunications, Gloria Hutt, has announced a new order for 183 pure electric buses for the Chilean capital of Santiago, due to arrive in August.

The 183 BYD pure electric buses will join 100 the maker and local partner Enel brought into Santiago last December, giving BYD a dominant share of more than 60% in the capital's promising electric bus market. They will be integrated during the last quarter into the existing Metbus fleet to operate the popular Avenida Grecia route, becoming the first route operated by only electric buses in Latin America. Metbus is also one of the largest pure electric bus fleet operators in the Americas.

With this new batch, there will be a total of 411 electric buses operating in the capital, making Santiago the city with the largest pure electric bus fleet outside China. These buses can seat up to 38 passengers and run over 250km on a single charge. All have air conditioning and offer universal accessibility plus wi-fi and USB ports.

Meanwhile, Volvo Buses and Famco Al Futtaim Auto & Machinery Co (Famco) have been selected as supplier of 373 city buses to Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). This is Volvo's largest chassis order to date in Dubai, and the largest ever purchase of Euro VI city buses in the Middle East.

This takes the operator's Volvo fleet to 571 vehicles. The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority is investing heavily in public transport, with the goal to make it the first choice for mobility, and the number of buses in the emirate will increase by nearly 30% from 2018 to 2020.

The B8RLE Euro VI chassis will have a Sunsundegui SB3 body. Deliveries are planned for Q3 2019 to Q2 2020. The delivery includes a 10-year comprehensive maintenance contract that also covers tyres and batteries.

Standard equipment includes electronic brakes and ESP (Electronic Stability Program). The buses will have Intelligent Transport systems (ITS) for fleet tracking, as well as innovations like interactive screens. The buses will also be fitted with modern driver assist and monitoring systems such as driver fatigue, driver RFID and the Volvo I-coaching package. USB charging will be provided and the buses will be ITxPT compliant, a system that enables interoperability between IT systems in public transport.