by Jose Aguiar
LIMA, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- The first Chinese-made electric bus had been shuttling passengers in the Peruvian capital here for a month, before it was officially unveiled Tuesday at the 2018 ElectroTransporte trade show, in a bid to help cut transport costs and pollutants in the city.
Manufactured by BYD, China's leading manufacturer of electric vehicles, electric buses generate less air and noise pollution than conventional gasoline-burning ones.
The joint initiative between electric power company Engie Energy Peru, the BYD and Lima's San Isidro district aims to show residents how viable alternative transportation is, said Ivan Veloso, business development manager at Engie.
"The goals of this project are to raise awareness about electric mobility (and) show that it is a totally feasible technology," Veloso said. "You can really notice the difference."
The cost of operating an electric vehicle (EV) is 20 to 30 percent lower than running a conventional one, leading to major savings in the long run, according to ElectroTransporte's website.
Citing Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the site said the cost of an EV battery has fallen from 1,000 U.S. dollars per kilowatt hour in 2010 to about 280 dollars in 2016, and the figure is expected to continue to drop.
"The advancing of electric buses will be even more rapid than for electric cars," said BNEF.
"This bus, in addition to being electric, is modern (in design)," said Veloso, listing such features as special seating for the disabled, wheelchair ramps, surveillance cameras and reversing cameras.
The BYD's headquarters in southern Lima are a 1,300-square-meter facility built with a growing business in mind.
The idea is to "expand" and "massify" electric transport in Peru, so the capital and major cities are not the only urban centers benefiting from the technology, said Veloso.
By the end of this year, he said, Peru expects the delivery of a new electric mine bus, a heavy-duty vehicle made for mining and mineral exploration.
"It is a bus that has been adapted and tailor-made to work in a mine in Peru," he said.
ElectroTransporte's site said mine buses are "10 times more economical" than conventional vehicles, and safer.
Meanwhile, BYD is also set to expand Peru's fleet of electric buses, with another five new buses expected to boost urban transportation services, said Roberto Obradovich, the BYD's country manager for Peru.