Chile is the first country in Latin America to have bus terminals equipped with ABB heavy vehicle chargers, opening the path for the breakthrough of the Swiss group in the region. In fact, ABB’s Heavy Vehicle Chargers (HVC) are set to power a fleet of 25 electric buses in the country.

chile abb electric bus

411 e-buses in Chile

Redbus Urbano, which operates buses in the capital Santiago’s public transport network, unveiled new terminals featuring the chargers in the presence of Chilean minister of Transport, Gloria Hutt. The ceremony also marked the 1000th bus with new Chilean standard (Euro VI or Electric).

Santiago now has 411 electric buses in operation, following the delivery of a large batch of 183 BYD e-buses, more than any other Latin American city. The two manufacturers active on Chilean market so far are the Chinese BYD and Yutong. The implementation of BYD e-bus fleet in Santiago de Chile is the result of a project that involved energy provider Enel X.

And as the global South slowly move towards the first electric bus deployment, other South American countries such as Ecuador and Colombia are following. BYD delivered 20 electric buses in Ecuador. The buses started operation in Guayaquil, the country’s second biggest city. Also, Bogotà issued a tender for as many as 600 electric buses and, still in Colombia, Medellin ordered 64 zero emission buses by BYD.

In Chile, the transport sector accounts for 24.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.

Eight ABB e-bus chargers for Chile

ABB announces it has supplied eight Heavy Vehicle Chargers (HVC), each with three depot charging boxes, for the terminals in the cities of Nueva Bilbao and El Salto. These chargers are the first to be supplied in Latin America, and feature ABB’s sequential charging technology.

A single power cabinet is paired with up to three depot charge boxes, ABB points out. Installed in the depot, they are connected with the buses and after the first vehicle has finished charging, the next vehicle will start charging automatically.

The HVC’s provide high charging power to the buses to ensure maximum vehicle availability. In addition, with having three depot boxes connected to a 150 kW power cabinet, charging of three buses require 33 percent of the grid connection compared to three standalone 150 kW chargers, reducing initial investment and operational costs.

chile abb electric bus

The first ABB project in Latin America

For Henri Rohard, Commercial and Development Manager of Transdev Chile (owners of Redbus Urbano), the selection of ABB was based on the interoperability of its charging solutions, meaning they can operate with vehicles from different bus manufacturers, as well as the performance and longevity of its solutions. “In France and Sweden we have charging stations with ABB so we already have a positive experience”, he said.

Frank Muehlon, Head of ABB’s global business for E-mobility Infrastructure Solutions commented: “ABB is a global market leader in DC fast charging solutions and we are delighted to have the opportunity to support Redbus Urbano on launching this milestone project. Our chargers were selected for their compatibility with the CCS charging standard and their interoperability, the simplicity of installation and their efficient connection to the grid. As the service goes into operation today, we hope that this will serve as an example of what sustainable transport solutions can achieve in Chile and beyond.”


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