Cuenca’s municipal council is considering adding 20 to 25 electric buses to the city’s transportation fleet. The move follows a successful month-long trial in which an electric bus offered free rides to thousands of passengers.
“From last month’s experience we now know that electric buses can operate efficiently in Cuenca,” says councilman Marco Avila. “The passengers and bus drivers loved them and best of all the bus did not contribute to air pollution.”
In a plan being studied by the council, the electric buses would be added to the bus fleet of 475. Also being studied is a program to provide financial incentives to encourage private bus owners to purchase electric models. Several council members say they are waiting on a University of Azuay study before proceeding with the proposal.
If approved, the city would lease buses from the Chinese bus-maker BYD, which provided the bus for last month’s trial. The bus is similar in its dimensions to those in the current fleet, 18 meters in length with a standing room capacity of 160 passengers.
The buses cost $250,000 each and have a life expectancy of 15 years.
If the project is approved, the electric buses would cover three routes.