Rio de Janeiro has got the first 100 percent electric bus thanks to the partnership between Fetranspor and Rio Bus, the public transportation companies for the state and city of Rio, and BYD, a Chinese company specializing on electric vehicles and battery technologies.
This is the first pure-electric bus to launch in Rio and is running now on line 249 (Water-Santa Carioca) operated by Matias, the leader of the Consortium Internorte.
The partnership, which aims to test the bus on a regular line for one month, has the support from the City Government through the City Department of Transportation, and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and is currently chaired by Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes.
Rio is one of the three cities in Brazil to test the 100 percent electric buses from BYD. São Paulo and Salvador have already implemented them successfully.
Guilherme Wilson, operation manager for mobility at Fetranspor, said electric buses are no longer just a promise; the electrical technology is a major innovation in the urban mobility sector. “In addition, this vehicle has zero emissions, superior durability and lower operating costs, all considerable advantages towards sustainability.”
Companies in Rio have tested some types of buses before, like hybrids, diesel from sugar cane, biodiesel, also CNG buses.
“Fetranspor is a great reference for testing new energy buses in public transportation and the segment in Rio de Janeiro is a model for many cities in the country,” said Vagner Rigon, sales vice president of BYD do Brasil. “The partnership with Fetranspor will be important to showcase its economical and environmental benefits and help to develop the market for low carbon buses.”
BYD has supplied 100 percent electric bus service to many cities in the world including Los Angeles and New York (USA), Bogota (COL), London (GB), Copenhagen (DEN) and Oranjestad (Aruba). BYD is testing the buses under different traffic and road conditions, terrain, elevations and temperatures to improve bus design.
Of late, BYD introduced its zero emission electric bus to Bangalore, India, the IT hub of India. The development is significant for BYD because under the National Electric Vehicle Plan (2020), the Government of India has planned to put in places as many as 6-7 million new energy vehicles by 2020.