Brazilian transit operator Via Agile and Piracicaba’s Transit Authority Semuttran has started pilot testing with a pure-electric transit bus from BYD Co. Ltd.
The purpose of the evaluation is to find ways to reduce transportation costs and unnecessary emissions in and around the city of Piracicaba.
With the rising cost of diesel fuel in Brazil, Semuttran currently has an average operational fuel cost of R$0.90/km (~$0.61 USD/mile) on their diesel fueled transit fleet. Their fleet travels 93,500 km (57.6 K miles) annually, so the BYD Pure Electric bus would save them R$60,775 (~$26,423 USD) each year in fuel (electricity for the eBus is R$0.25/km or ~$0.18 USD/mile). These savings are necessary for operators as many cities in Brazil are attempting to expand their transportation footprint to meet growing demand.
"Pilot tests have been very positive – if technical and commercial performance fulfills requirements for the system in Piracicaba, the city will foster the use of electrical buses,” said Jorge Akira, secretary of Semuttran.
“So far, all reports from the bus drivers have been positive. There is not much difference from a normal bus when driving, since steering, pedals and dashboards are similar,” said Alcides Ferreira, a driver who has been working for Piracicaba transit companies for 17 years.