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Ecuador opens its largest electric charging station

Christian Fernsby |
Ecuadorian Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner inaugurated the country's biggest electric charging station for electric cars, taxis and buses in the southwest port city of Guayaquil on Friday.

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The "electroline" station, as it called here, was built by Chinese company BYD, a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles and batteries.

"This is a project that signals looking to the future and it is evidence of what can be achieved when we work together for what the country needs," Sonnenholzner said during the opening ceremony.

Construction of the 600,000 U.S. dollars station, which was privately financed, began on July 11 thanks to strategic cooperation between BYD, the federal government, which loaned the land, Guayaquil's local government and the Municipal Transit Authority (ATM).

Jorge Burbano, national manager of BYD Ecuador, which will operate the station, said the 5,000 square meter facility is among the most modern in the region.

"It has 20 rapid chargers and a megawatt of total installed power, with the capacity to supply 500 vehicles a day," said Burbano.

An electric car can be fully charged in 90 minutes, and an electric bus in three and a half hours, he said.

Ecuador's most populous city and leading productive hub, Guayaquil, boasts 20 BYD-made buses and 50 electric taxis.

Ecuador received its first fleet of BYD electric buses in February for use in public transit to improve air quality and urban mobility.

The initiative turned Ecuador into the second South American country to adopt sustainable electric mass transit, after Chile.

Guayaquil Mayor Cynthia Viteri announced that the transport sector was eligible for a 15,000 U.S. dollars incentive to purchase an electric bus, or 4,000 U.S. dollars for an electric taxi.

Motorists using the new station can pay via an app called BYD Electrolinera.

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