Uruguay Releases Test Results for BYD Electric Bus

MAR 24 2014 BY MARK KANE 13

BYD e6 Electric Vehicle

BYD e6 Electric Vehicle

In Uruguay, BYD has ended trials of electric bus and taxis.  The results are now in.

We don’t know if this deal (Uruguay may purchase 500 electric BYD buses) will come to fruition, but it seems that the BYD ebus took the task. At the announcement met the entire hall of officials:

“The Uruguay Ministry of Industry Energy and Mining together with the Ministry of Transportation, The Government of Montevideo and Uruguay’s National Utility Company (UTE) released the testing results of the BYD zero-emissions, pure-electric, 12-meter, Rapid Transit eBus (K9) and BYD e6 5-passenger pure-electric eTaxi last week. In attendance at the public announcements were the Ministers of Industry, Energy and Mining, Mr. Roberto Kreimerman, Minister of Transportation, Mr. Enrique Pintado, Mayor of Montevideo, Mrs. Ana Olivera, National Director of Energy, Mr. Ramón Mendez, President of UTE, Mr. Gonzalo Casaravilla, Mobility Director of Montevideo, Mr. Nestor Campal and several public transport operators, international finance organizations, and other national and local authorities. UTE led the evaluation projects for the BYD electric Bus and eTaxi for the past four months under the “Uruguay Electric Mobility Committee” with the cooperation of local BYD partner, CTS Auto S.A.”

Uruguay’s National Utility Company (UTE) said that the BYD ebus has an average range of 252 km (~157 miles) per night-time charge and consumes 1.26 kWh / km (for the 324 kWh battery pack). Such results were noted after 1,279 kilometers (~800 miles) across 4 different Montevideo urban routes, at different times and with different speeds.

Gonzalo Casaravilla, President of UTE commented:

“the BYD electric bus is ubiquitously functional operating in the Uruguay Metropolitan Transport Systems.”

Minister Kreimerman (of Industry and Energy) emphasized:

“Electric vehicles reduce environmental pollution, city noise pollution and national fossil-fuel dependence. Considering that the transportation sector represents over 30% of the total energy consumed in the country, it is very important to domesticate this fuel spend. The electrified public transportation is in pivotal for the country’s energy policy and the transformation to renewable energies.”

Interesting are the results of the economic study, which indicate that electric buses as well as taxis can be a viable option, provided the operator can afford the higher upfront costs:

“The economic study presented by one of the members of the Committee, Mr. Gonzalo Marquez, showed that the life time total-cost of ownership (TCO) of an electric bus was 60% less than a standard diesel bus (considering initial purchase costs, energy re-fueling cost and the lowered maintenance cost of electric buses during operation). In the case of electric taxis analyzed, the life time total cost of ownership was estimated at 50% that of traditional gasoline taxis.”

Now we are waiting to see if Uruguay signs the deals to buy 500 BYD buses.

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13 Comments on "Uruguay Releases Test Results for BYD Electric Bus"

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The cost results are likely due to high diesel fuel taxes in Uruguay:

‘Diesel in Uruguay at the pump costs 1.70 US dollars a litre compared to one dollar on average in Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Peru, and 80 US cents in Argentina.’

There are around 3.8 litres/US gallon.

Just the same these costs put the electric bus on a par with diesel excluding taxes, which if the economic costs of pollution including death and ill health are taken into account means that if they were no longer externalised the BYD bus is the more economic alternative.

Dave, typically professional transportation is exempted from gasoline taxes. Those are paying value added taxes and corporate taxes.

It is then little wonder that most companies do nothing to reduce there pollution output.

They are not exempt in the UK at least:

I don’t happen to have information specific to Uraguay to hand, but judging by their total cost of ownership savings, with fuel being a major expense along with wages and maintenance, it seems unlikely that they are exempt there either.

In Finland professional transportation does not pay gasoline taxes. And I would think that in Uruguay, situation resemples more Finnish tax systems, as fuel taxes are very significant.

In Argentina fossil fuels are subsidized. The country is living in 1970 as far as climate change is concerned. The government’s energy accomplishment has been to nationalize the former national oil company, YPF, which had been privatized in the 1990’s. The reason they seized the company, and have now negotiated with Repsol a compensation of USD 5 billion plus interest, is due to the presence of unconventional reserves in Neuquen province.

In other words, besides direct fuel subsidies, they are investing billions into high cost oil exploration.

But not to worry, Renault will bring two (2) Zoe’s and two Kangoo ZE’s to the country in 2014 for testing!

At any rate, that 80 cent per liter figure should be removed from any comparison with Uruguay.

interesting, this would be a viable option in europe aswell then. in sweden we pay more than 2 dollars/liter

BYD electric buses are being evaluated in several European countries.


Thanks for the barrage of good EV news!

Now let’s see how quickly Uruguay makes good on this promising summary and puts down some orders.

And how quickly any other global competitor to BYD eBuses shows up (sorry, not counting Proterra which is still a “boutique” operation).

1.26 kWh / km

In Denmark they averaged 40 passengers. If they did the same in Uruguay, that would be 50.8 Wh/passenger mile. Very impressive!

In Germany at least a couple of municipalities are going to buy one or two electric buses for long trial. I hope I can give it a ride in 2014.

The producer is a Polish company Solaris, who buy components from the German Vossloh Kiepe.

I do not know where they buy batteries but they seem the sore point so far given reviews.

These results tell me nothing without official data about equivalent ICE buses, where can I find some papers about this topic?

Its not too comprehensive, but there is this:

‘BYD and MTA claim that the expected operating-cost-per-mile of an electric bus is about $0.20 to $0.30, compared to $1.30 per mile for an equivalent diesel- or natural-gas-powered bus in New York.’