Chinese electric buses roll out across Latin America

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Cities across Latin America are cleaning their transport networks with Chinese electric buses – some quicker than others

If 2019 was a watershed year for Chinese electric buses in Latin America, in 2020 they became mainstream.

Latin American countries are moving towards cleaner public transport in their most populated cities. In the process, they have overcome existing entry barriers to the widespread rollout of the technology – driven globally by China – including scarcities of national financing models, charging points and trained personnel.

Manufacturers of Chinese electric buses stand out as the largest providers to the region. Adalberto Maluf, president of the Brazilian Association of Electric Vehicles and marketing director of Chinese maker BYD, said: “BYD sold 1045 buses last year in Latin America. This shows that the market is growing. It is not the size of the European market, or the US, but it’s already very close.”

In total, Latin America has 1229 electric buses in operation in 10 countries, including 563 ordinary buses, 624 trolleybuses and 41 midi e-buses, according to the new E-Bus Radar project led by the Sustainable Mobility Laboratory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

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Heavy-duty trucks and buses must go electric, says new report

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The electrification of trucks and buses needs to be accelerated, says a new report released yesterday by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

 The UCS report, titled “Ready for Work: Now Is the Time for Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicles,” states that there are currently about 28 million trucks and buses in the US, or 10% of all vehicles. They are responsible for 28% of total carbon emissions in the transportation sector.

Electric trucks, on the other hand, emit 44% to 79% less emissions than diesel trucks, depending on the type of vehicle. They have zero tailpipe emissions. Further, the ownership costs can be cheaper.

Fuel and maintenance savings can offset the higher upfront costs of heavy-duty electric vehicles, making them cheaper than a diesel or natural gas vehicle over the life of a vehicle.

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