Colombia’s western city of Cali produced its first fuel-free electric bus that began its initial trial on Monday morning, reported Colombian newspaper Vanguardia.
Amounting to a cost of around $5 million, the 50-passenger transport unit was prepared for trial in the city of Cali’s Center for Technological Development as a collaborative project between a number of investment and technology firms.
Boost to local economy
As it enters its six-month testing period, Cali’s prototype can run 50 miles between power charges every 4 hours, said Francisco Mejia Pardo, executive director of the Center for Technological Development in the Automotive Industry (TECNA).
“What we want is that, in four years, Cali may be home to the first factory of electric buses in Colombia,” said Pardo.
“The trial of the bus is a starting point to bring development to the city of Cali; it will hopefully go on to create manufacturing jobs in the local economy in a few years’ time,” said Diego Forero, Advisor to the General Manager of electricity-provider, Emcali.
Buses powered by electricity are significantly more environmentally sustainable than those which require fuel. According to Forero, “There is no need to rely on oil or natural gas resources as fuel, there are no moving mechanical parts and, most importantly, no harmful gas emissions.”
The trial bus is taken from Cali’s newly-introduced mass transit system, MIO, which caused violent protests in March due to the routes’ exclusion of residents at the periphery of the city.
- Padrón del MÍO, primer bus eléctrico hecho en Cali (Vanguardia)