Chilean capital Santiago's Transantiago mass transportation system will begin a pilot project to test the use of biodiesel buses on January 1, according to Swedish vehicle manufacturer Scania's executive VP, Martin Lundstedt.
The project was brought about through an agreement signed by Alsacia, concessionaire of Transantiago's line 1, Scania and Petrobras Chile to run a Scania biodiesel bus on the system. Petrobras will provide the fuel, which will be a 5% admixture known as B5.
The one-year program is an opening into Chile's public transportation market for Scania, which has already has established fleets in Brazil and Colombian capital Bogota's bus rapid transit (BRT) system.
Scania hopes to demonstrate significant savings in fuel cost and reduced CO2 emissions with its Ecolution line of buses. The firm provides continual training from "master drivers," which helps bus operators improve fuel efficiency by up to 15%, Lundstedt said during a press conference.
Although the initial cost of the vehicles is slightly higher than for regular buses, the investment is quickly recouped through savings on fuel, according to Lundstedt.
Plans to expand into the Chilean market coincide with the transport and telecommunications ministry's (MTT) push to reduce emissions, according to Scania Chile director Silvio Munhoz.