Chile’s first electric bus factory aims to reduce reliance on fossil fuels

SANTIAGO, July 21 (Reuters) – Electric buses built by a Chilean company are now operating in the world’s top copper-producing nation as the country seeks ways to reduce its use of fossil fuels and meet its environmental goals.

Reborn Electric Motor, located about 84 kilometers (52 miles) south of the Chilean capital Santiago, aims to produce 200 electric buses a year, enough to remove some 65,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.

Chile’s environment ministry is spearheading a new law that would commit the country to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, matching copper giant Codelco’s previously stated goal of becoming copper neutral. .

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Reborn’s heavy-duty electric buses are already shuttling workers at Codelco’s Teniente mine.

While Reborn builds the buses from the ground up, it’s also giving existing diesel buses an electric future by converting them in a process the company says produces an option that’s both sustainable and economical.

“We take diesel buses, remove the diesel engine, the diesel tank, and we install lithium-ion batteries and an electric motor and a control system, and with that we end up with an emission-free bus at a price much more accessible,” said Reborn co-founder Ricardo Repenning.

The company hopes its efforts can help promote the industry outside of Chile.

“Our goal is for cutting-edge technology to be produced from Chile and for this technology to be used around the world,” said Felipe Ceballos, the company’s general manager.

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Reporting by Reuters TV; Written by Brendan O’Boyle; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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