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New Generation of Buses to Arrive in Mexico

By Antonio Gozain | Tue, 03/01/2022 - 12:30

As the world continues moving toward smarter and cleaner mobility, heavy vehicle manufacturers are bringing to Mexico the latest technology in urban, interurban and coach buses.

The Mexican bus ecosystem is adapting to new consumer demands and transportation needs, from electrification and efficiency to technology and passenger experience. In Oct. 2021, Mexico City welcomed the arrival of ten BRT e-buses with intelligent connected vehicle systems from Chinese OEM Yutong.

Although imported technology is accelerating Mexico’s public transportation path to electrification, it is important to manufacture these buses locally, taking into account the specific needs of each city, said to MBN Jorge Navarro, Director, People Transport Solutions, Scania México.

Swedish heavy-vehicle OEM Scania, in collaboration with Mexican body manufacturer Beccar, announced that the Volt and E-Urviabus will arrive in the Mexican market in 2022. The E-Urviabus will be Scania’s first 100-percent electric bus and the first to have its body built in Mexico, as reported by MBN.

Unlike other e-buses available in the country, Scania México and Beccar partnered to develop a specific product for the Mexican market, given the country’s particular conditions and specific needs. The Scania Volt is a fully-electric, 19-ton, 11-meter chassis vehicle with a low floor designed for large cities. It can carry 90 to 110 passengers. It is pluggable and its 10 batteries that charge 330kW per hour provide an autonomy between 250-300km.

“We decided to develop this bus in Mexico. Chassis made in the EU are not always adaptable to the needs of the Mexican urban market. Therefore, we decided to build the body locally with Beccar, a body builder with which Scania México has had partnerships before and which is also betting on electromobility,” said Navarro.

Adaptation to the Mexican market and flexibility is important for bus manufacturers. Spanish body builder Irizar offers a wide variety of bodies adapted to Mexico’s needs. These include urban, interurban and long-distance buses for the coach and premium segments. Irizar’s bodies work with electric, natural gas, diesel and hybrid chassis.

In Jan. 2022, Mercedes-Benz Autobuses announced the delivery of 65 buses that will service over 65,000 users in the Legaria Corridor, Mexico City. The new units substituted 173 buses used in Routes 17 and 28 that were over 30 years-old, reported MBN. The renewed buses contain diesel particulate filters, illuminated signs, turnstiles, video surveillance cameras, GPS systems, passenger count sensors and card validators. These buses accept the city’s Integrated Mobility Card as a form of payment to facilitate unit control, quality service and improve passenger experience.

While electrification trends continue influencing Mexico’s heavy-vehicle market and the country is the fourth-ranked bus exporter globally, there is still a long path to cover due to the average age of the country’s buses, said to MBN Miguel Elizalde, Executive President, ANPACT. “A heavy EV requires a greater initial investment than diesel. When taking into account that the average age of Mexico’s bus park is 19 (years), the leap into electrification might seem complicated. This does not mean we are not ready to use this technology. Many electric buses are already used in public transportation across different cities but we need to think about ROI and the incentives the industry requires.”

Incentives and financing play a key role when introducing e-buses to the Mexican market, said Navarro. These units are three times more expensive than diesel buses and require new engineering training, specific tools and battery management.

Mexico is not only home to major international heavy-vehicle OEMs but also to national bus manufacturers such as DINA, which has been a leader in the segment for the last seven decades. The only Mexican heavy-vehicle OEM continues innovating and strengthening its participation in the urban, interurban, coach and cargo segments.

Mexico Automotive Summit 2022

Mexico Automotive Summit 2022, hosted by Mexico Business on March 23-25, 2022, will feature industry leaders to discuss the latest trends impacting one of the most important sectors for the country’s economy.

Join the conversation with Miguel Elizalde from ANPACT, Jorge Navarro from Scania México, Alexandre Nogueira from Mercedes-Benz Autobuses, Juan de Dios Gómez from Irizar México and Miguel Velasco from DINA in the panel “A New Generation of Buses: Technology, Emissions and Passenger Experience.”

Do not miss the opportunity to get the insights of the Mexican automotive industry directly from the leaders who are transforming the sector. Tickets for the summit are available here. Join the future of B2B conferences now!

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN
Photo by:   Pixabay
Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst