CCI/C40 Hybrid & Electric Bus Program Breaks Ground in Latin America

The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), a program of the William J. Clinton Foundation, today announced that Rio de Janeiro, a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), has become the first city to test hybrid buses as part of the CCI/C40 Hybrid & Electric Bus Test Program. The City of Rio will start to test buses this month with more cities following soon. The goal of the CCI/C40 Hybrid & Electric Bus Test Program is to develop a market for fuel efficient, low-carbon buses in Latin America, and was developed at the request of C40 Cities.  

Road transportation accounts for 90% of transportation emissions in Latin America, half of which are produced by passenger traffic. Over the coming 14 months, the environmental performance and economic benefits of approximately 10 hybrid and all-electric buses from several manufacturers will be tested in C40 Cities participating in the program, including Bogota, Curitiba and Sao Paulo, in addition to Rio de Janeiro. The buses will be tested under real traffic conditions, in city centers and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines.

The results of each City test will be included in recommendations for the development of the hybrid and electric bus sector in Latin America that CCI will prepare in 2012, at the end of the program, addressing both demand and supply-side barriers to deployment in order to stimulate regional production of hybrid and/or electric buses.  Data obtained will define the reliability of hybrid and electric buses, estimate emissions reduction and life-cycle costs, and identify other benefits and mechanisms to reduce costs and risks associated with the adoption of hybrid and electric bus technology. If the test program is successful, it is expected to catalyze the deployment of 9,000 buses across the Cities and reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 566,000 tons by 2016.

The program has secured the participation of a number of partners in the CCI/C40 Hybrid & Electric Bus Test Program, including the Volvo Bus Corporation, BYD Motor Inc., and Eletra Industrial Ltda. These partners will support the program in a number of ways including, supplying and maintaining the buses for free during the test phase, and providing data and analysis on estimated emissions reductions and life-cycle costs. A limited number of additional companies with expertise in hybrid or electric buses may be added to the program over the coming months.

Check out our earlier post on the importance of these bus systems in reducing pollution in urban areas.