BUQUEBUS and CTS Auto S.A. in partnership with Chinese automaker, BYD Ltd unveiled the first 12 meter rapid transit bus powered 100% by electricity in Uruguay and the region today. The ceremony was the culmination of an Electric Bus contract announced last year and was attended by President Mujica, Roberto Kreimerman Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, Mrs. Liliam Kechichian, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mr. Lopez Mena from BUQUEBUS, and Mr. Sasson Attie from CTS AUTO S.A., representing BYD Ltd. The BYD Electric Bus integrates several cutting-edge technologies including two in- wheel, electric motors capable of a cruising speed over 88 km/h (or > 55mph), and a first of its kind environmentally-friendly Iron-Phosphate Battery. This drive system provides a range of over 250 km (155 miles) – nearly 24 hours of service daily for most transit applications. The BYD battery technology also allows for a full charge in less than 5 hours. The bus can be charged overnight, while the electricity pricing is lower.
The rechargeable battery system and electric motors developed by BYD engineers together offer a significant savings in both energy consumption and environmental pollution. Because of the in-wheel-hub motors, the BYD Electric Bus has the lowest floor of any bus, There is only one step onto the bus, allowing quick and easy access for people with reduced mobility, wheelchairs and baby strollers. The units unveiled today are designed to fulfill the tourist bus routes in the city of Colonia, but soon, several long-distance BYD-options will join the BUQUEBUS as urban transport buses.
By 2015 it is expected that more than 500 BYD electric buses will be running on the streets and roads of Uruguay, generating significant environmental impact. The CO2 savings (vs. traditional diesel bus) is equal to 20,000 hectares of Forest per 500 buses in circulation – this is the same area covered by the entire city of Montevideo. The Green Footprint concept has important benefits to the environment.