Ten years of e-bus activities in South America. This is Enel X’s ‘business card’ when it comes to the public transport business, a field where the utility group has developed a specific offer, involving Europe and Australia, where the entrance of Enel X in the public transport market has been announced in spring 2021. The focus: providing vehicles and full service, charging infrastructures, and smart city services.

Ten years ago, on April 18th, 2011, the Enel Group was installing its first charging station in Latin America, in Chile. Since then, huge strides have been made, showing how electric mobility, both public and private, is a concrete commitment for the company and an enabling factor for the development of smart cities. Today LATAM projects of Enel X are underway in Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, and Brazil.

Globally, Enel X has already been contracted to manage and serve more than 1,400 e-buses, making it the largest e-bus solutions provider in the world today outside of China.

The importance of electric public transport in Latin America

Latin America has one of the world’s highest rates of harmful emissions, with Chile, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico being among the  100 world’s most polluted countries in the world. Moreover, 81% of the population in LATAM countries lives in urban areas. Electrifying public transport is a keyway to reduce CO2 emissions, especially in a megalopolis, as the continent has some of the fastest growing cities in the world. Five LATAM cities are among the 50 most congested in the world: Bogota, Lima, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and Santiago de Chile.

Enel X is also part of the group of 17 bus manufacturers and investors who signed a pledge, in December 2020, to accelerate e-bus deployment in Latin America within the Zero Emission Bus Rapid-deployment Accelerator (ZEBRA) alliance. ZEBRA is seeking to secure USD1 billion in investments to deploy over 3,000 electric buses onto the streets of Latin America.

enel x public transport latin america

As part of the commitment, manufacturers are committed to expanding their supply of electric buses in Latin America within 12 months, with a specific focus on cities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, while financiers will make investment funds available for zero-emission bus projects.

In Brazil, Enel X is also part of a project developed by Enel Distribuição São Paulo, named Urban Futurability, that is transforming the Vila Olímpia neighborhood of São Paulo into a living laboratory for the energy revolution and sustainability, in which electrification solutions for urban public transport will be implemented by Enel X.

Urban Futurability is implemented by Enel São Paulo in partnership with the local government authorities and the Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica (ANEEL), the national regulatory body which contributed to the financing of the project as part of its research and development program.

enel x latin america

At the heart of the initiative is the creation of South America’s very first Network Digital Twin. The Twin is a 3D digital model that faithfully replicates the local electricity infrastructure, from individual physical elements to the most complex dynamics of its working. The simulation is made possible by a network of smart sensors installed on the actual grid, each communicating information on the grid status in real-time to both the Distributor and the local stakeholders.

At a later date, further efficiency and sustainability-related solutions will be implemented in Vila Olímpia, not least a network of e-vehicle infrastructure, smart cities solutions and services plus a smart street lighting system developed by Enel X

Enel X in LATAM, latest projects 👇

Enel X, an established partner in Chile

In Santiago De Chile, Enel X has provided 500 e-buses, 11 depots and about 245 charging stations. Thanks in part to the support of Enel X, Chile has the second most electric buses circulating on its streets in the world, after China. And the way is bright ahead, in terms of transition to electric public transport, as the Chilean government has announced plans to replace all buses in Santiago with electric models, acquiring some 6,500 units by 2050.

The energy transition poses fundamental challenges for the region, in which one of them is electrification, where we are committed to the massive development of public, corporate and private electric mobility, at the same time that we promote the vision of circular cities, where the flows of matter and energy are rethought, and the use of goods and services with the aim of improving the quality of life of citizens and generating positive impacts on the planetsays Simone Tripepi, Head of Enel X Latam.

enel x latin america

Besides the wide e-bus fleet launched on the road (it should be mentioned that the buses are managed in the framework of an ‘E-Bus as a service’ solution, with Enel X being the owner of the vehicles which are rented to PTOs), during the last year, the group has provided an e-bus Laboratory for Covid-19 tests and has been a sponsor for the Pan-American Games in Santiago 2023.

878 e-buses to be provided in Bogotà, 56,000 km travelled in Peru

In Bogotà (Colombia), Enel X has been awarded a contract with Transmilenio for the supply of 878 e-buses (401 units secured in early 2021) and 6 e-bus depots equipped with 412 charging points. The latest initiatives also include the #UnNuevoAire project in Suba, Fontibon, and Usma.

In Lima (Peru), the introduction of e-buses led to a total of 56,210 km traveled in a little over a year and 67,114.7 kg of CO2 emissions avoided. What is more, this case study was presented as a best practice for the electrification of public transport at the GSEP’s most recent Summit 2021.

Still in Peru, Enel X has launched in 2019 a pilot putting two electric taxis into service in the capital city. The project was carried out in cooperation with Chinese car (and bus) manufacturer BYD and Peruvian operator Taxi Directo.


Related articles