The E-bus project in Santiago de Chile, does not stop surprising Latin America. In August 2019 there will be 285 buses in the fleet of one of the companies operating the bus system of Santiago, Metbus, meaning 5% of the city's fleet.
The success of the project is not only due to the introduction of electric vehicles, but also a profound change in the city's transportation system.
The operating company of the city of Santiago, Metbus, started testing a few years ago with two electric buses. After that initial test, he proposed the operation of a complete corridor, the Avenida Grecia electrocorridor.
The corridor Greece introduced a new concept system in the city. It is a totally segregated corridor, with closed shutdown with pre-payment and with passenger information system, in addition to a total operation with E-bus. The start of the operation was in 2018 with 100 buses.
Why could I say at this moment that it is a success story? Because a consistent financing model was developed, with a vision of the future, for the next 10 years, additional there is a change in the business model. Structuring an E-bus operation generates a profound change in the operating companies. Operate electric buses, change the way that operational cost is evaluated, and require a different internal look on the economy of organizations.
In the case mentioned above, the vehicles were purchased in a leasing model, with a full maintenance contract with the supplier company BYD. The full maintenance contract means, even receiving the buses daily with the batteries charged, the operator barely provides the drivers for the procedure.
When we talk about successful E-bus operation it means a big change in the understanding of the business. Now it is not more to buy buses, to supply diesel, and to start the buses. There is an important component that is fundamental to the success of the project, it is the financial economic equation of the consumption of electrical energy. It is necessary to understand how the cost of energy works in detail, considering the local peak-hour rules, and to define in detail the necessary consumption in order not to burden the installation or the energy supply. In the case of the Santiago de Metbus operation, according to the rules of consumption and local energy cost it was defined that slow loading was the most appropriate. Using the slow charge scheme in a staggered way in the fleet, and at least once a week a full charge of the battery. The average load is 52 minutes, and a full load once a week is 2.5 hours. Thus buses currently have an average of 280 km of autonomy.
Line 516 of Metbus has, at this moment, 103 operating units of zero emissions at the service of the citizens of the Chilean capital and represents an exceptional good practice for sustainable mobility awarded at the last UITP Summit in Stockholm. The project, which was launched in December 2018, obtained the first place in the "Smart Funding, Financing & Business Models" category of the UITP award. In order to expand the electric mobility in the country, the company put at the disposal of the operator a packaged model that included the engineering, construction and delivery of the recharging points, plus the energy supplied for all the electric buses that are incorporated into the public transport. To do this, two electroterminals were built, one in Peñalolén and the other in Maipú, with 63 and 67 electric stations, respectively.
The buses transported 5 million passengers until May 2019, with a route of 1.8 million km. These numbers guarantee a unique experience.
It is important to mention that the electric bus project in Santiago has an intense participation in the business model of the electric power supplier company Enel X. As mentioned above, 208 more vehicles are about to be integrated into the city's fleet. , of which 183 belong to the alliance between Metbus and Enel X, while 25 buses are the result of collaboration with Redbus. The Chilean electric fleet is the first and largest, not only in Chile, but throughout Latin America.
Santiago is making investments in the entire public transportation system, not just a total remodeling of Transantiago. With the new Metropolitan Mobility Network it is the name of the new standard of the public transport system of Santiago. Network integrates fares to the buses, the Metro and the MetroTren.
The largest railway expansion plan in the last 50 years in Chile is currently underway.
With projects ranging from the extension of Metro Valparaiso, which will transport 12 million passengers a year. The next one begins the construction of the train that will link Melipilla with Santiago in 46 minutes, with an investment of US $ 1,560 million and will benefit eight