After ten years without major orders for clean buses, the city of São Paulo expects to receive a batch of battery-electric models. There are 100 units that were acquired by the company Viação Metrópole Paulista, which operates in the east and south of the city. Half of the buses will be manufactured in a partnership with Mercedes-Benz and Eletra, while the other 50 will be of the eO500U model, the electric company of the star for Latin America, which should be completed in 2023.
The news marks the start of compliance with the renewal of the fleet with less polluting buses provided for in the current municipal law on climate change and in the contracts with transport companies, signed in September 2019. The renewal of the fleet was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. SPTrans (São Paulo Transporte), the city manager, had “frozen” the purchasing schedule for new buses, both diesel and electric.
The last significant acquisition of buses that do not pollute or pollute less occurred between 2012 and 2013, when 100 Scania 15-meter trolleybuses with electric technology were acquired. However, the participation of e-buses in the city's fleet is very low, since only 219 are zero emissions within a fleet that exceeds 13,800 units. Of these, 18 are battery operated by Transwolff and 201 are trolleybuses run by the TransVida Consortium.
The city mayor's office wants 20% of the fleet to be made up of electric buses by the end of 2024, as part of the municipal actions to comply with the Climate Change Law, which provides for the reduction of fossil carbon dioxide. Emissions by 50% by 2028 and the eradication of this type of pollutant by 2038, when they should no longer have buses with an internal combustion engine.
For its part, Mercedes-Benz continues to look for more cities to take its electric buses, of which sales have been closed for Salvador and Gran Vitoria, both ordered in partnership with Eletra.