Mexican states are transforming their public transportation system. 2024 is another chapter in this process, and we review at what stage they are.
The projects to bring electric buses involve various initiatives across the country.
Some are ongoing and expanding their electric bus fleet, others are calling for investors to materialize them, while some have been postponed.
What’s coming up?
Nuevo León has set the conditions to decisively move towards electromobility.
After receiving 200 electric buses, Governor Samuel García committed that, starting from January, all vehicles entering urban passenger transport will be electric.
In this context, he announced that throughout the year, there will be calls for tenders for new acquisitions.
In May 2023, the company Enel X, along with Dinamismo Urbano del Norte, won the competition to electrify part of the Exposición-Pablo Livas route of Metrorrey.
The eBuses designated for this route will be locally manufactured by Marcopolo and will have BYD chassis. It is expected that there will be a total of 21 buses of the Torino model.
Enel X will be responsible for the installation and operation of the charging infrastructure.
On the other hand, in Mexico City, a project is underway to build the first electric corridor, which was won by the construction company La Peninsular.
This corresponds to the trolleybus corridor Chalco-Santa Marta and will benefit around 120,000 passengers.
BYD also recently contributed to the electric fleet of the city.
On January 3, the first 20 buses started operating in the capital, out of a total of 55 acquired by the Government and Metrobús.
They will operate within Line 4, connecting Pantitlán and Alameda Oriente with Hidalgo.
The state of Yucatán is developing its electromobility proposal with the reactivation of IE-TRAM.
In this case, the line of electric buses is manufactured by the Spanish company Irizar.
The project, originally announced in 2022, connects the center of the city of Mérida with the municipalities of Kanasín, Umán, and the Tren Maya.
It is expected to reach more than 136,000 people living in 137 neighborhoods.
The electricity, which will be produced by the Nachi Cocom Power Plant, which the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) is building through a mixed investment project, will be mainly allocated to IE-TRAM.
In August, Governor Mauricio Vila also announced that his administration is considering the purchase of 18-meter articulated electric buses from Yutong.
If this materializes, they will be incorporated into the Va y Ven system on the periphery of Mérida.
San Luis Potosí is also in the process of modernization with the development of the new Bus Rapid Transit System, called Metro Red.
In the first stage, Yutong delivered 30 BRT units of the ZK6126HG model.
As for manufacturers, Volvo Buses introduced its 100% electric model, Luminus, in April, which will be produced at its Tultitlán plant.
In July, they delivered the last two diesel bi-articulated units to make the definitive transition to electric ones.
Volvo will also design the corresponding charging infrastructure.
In the state of Puebla, the announcements are related to assembly.
The Chinese-origin company Link EV Electric Vehicles will have its assembly plant in San José Chiapas. It is expected to start operating during this year.
Yutong contributed 17 vehicles of the E12 model in the Federal District and introduced its safety technology in electric buses, known as Yutong Electric Safety Standard (YESS).
This standard was also incorporated into the 100% electric trolleybuses of the 2024 model that arrived to serve the Chalco-Santa Martha corridor.
Additionally, 22 Euro V technology eBuses were acquired for Metrorrey in Nuevo León.
By the first quarter of 2023, the brand had reached a total of around 750 units in Mexican public transportation and is one of the most widely used in the country.
What was left unfinished?
Not all initiatives to achieve electromobility reached their destination.
Such was the case with another segment of the Metrorrey project in Nuevo León.
In July 2023, the Metrorrey Collective System announced the cancellation of the call for bids to acquire electric buses intended for the Transmetro Mitras-Santa Catarina route of Line 1.
The construction of the Suburban Train and the subsequent need to review the route of the Transmetro led the Monterrey Government to ultimately cancel the procedure.
Innovation in smaller buses
The transformation is also reaching smaller buses that are not part of the transportation circuits that carry thousands of passengers daily.
This is the case of the “Metrobusito,” which connects Buenavista with the Mexico City International Airport.
It is a battery-powered prototype, only 6 meters long, manufactured by the Turkish company Karsan, with a capacity for 20 passengers.
It is a joint experiment by Metrobús, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), VEMO, the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation of Mexico City, and the Chapultepec Forest.
In Quintana Roo, the XCaret group is betting on electromobility with the purchase of a unit of the Volt model from Scania for its own ecological fleet, EcoBus Xcaret.
It was assembled by Carrocerías Hermanos Becerra (Beccar) and will transport tourists from hotels to the parks of the ecotourism development located in the Riviera Maya.
This way, the first electric bus from the Swedish company arrives in Mexico through a private investor.