BYD Unveils SkyRail Electric Monorail at C40 Mayors Summit

Today BYD unveiled SkyRail, another part of its “green dreams” at the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City.

The company’s President and Chairman Wang Chuanfu unveiled the Chinese company’s SkyRail electric monorail before 500 guests, including more than 40 mayors, from over 93 cities. SkyRail is part of BYD’s urban transportation solution, which aims to address air pollution and traffic congestion.

Wang called on cities and countries around the world to reduce the earth’s temperature by one degree Celsius. SkyRail is part of what BYD calls its four green dreams – affordable solar power generation, reliable energy storage, cutting-edge electrified transportation, and a state of the art monorail. The company said in its press release that these four initiatives have reduced carbon emissions by around 310 million kilograms over the past five years, the equivalent of planting 26 million trees.

While being best known for its leadership role as the world’s third-largest seller of electric cars, BYD’s overall business model is similar to Tesla’s. BYD reports that its solar energy panels, energy storage systems, and other modes of electric transport are currently sold in more than 50 countries and regions.

Prior to its international launch in Mexico City, BYD debuted its SkyRail in October at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China. The SkyRail took five years to research and develop at an investment of 5 billion yuan (around $724 million). Compared to the local subway, the company said that SkyRail’s construction costs are 80 percent less and only take a third of the time to build.

While China is its main market for electric car sales, North America has been seeing BYD’s presence expand in electric buses and commercial trucks. In September, the company announced it launched the second of three expansion phases at its manufacturing plant in Lancaster, Calif. Located about 70 miles north of Los Angeles, the plant is expected to see an additional 40,000 square feet added to the existing facility.

BYD electric bus in Mexico City

The South African city of Cape Town is the latest purchaser of BYD’s electric buses, after signing a contract to buy 11 BYD e-buses at the C40 Mayors Summit. Cape Town will become the first city on the African continent to use electric buses for public transportation. Mexico City also runs BYD electric buses, as seen in the photo above.

Earlier at the C40 Cities Awards held during the summit, Wang presented the Adaptation Plans and Assessment Award to the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo. Paris was awarded for making the city “more resilient to the effects of global warming.” The city of Shenzhen won the Finance and Economic Development Award for implementing the emissions trading system which BYD said “dramatically helps to decrease carbon emissions.”

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BYD’s call to cities to reduce global warming comes about one month after the Paris Climate Agreement entered into force.

“Air pollution and traffic congestion are universal problems that dramatically slow down economic development. As such, cities need to address these problems as soon as possible,” Wang said. “BYD, holding its green dreams in mind, is developing the best solutions to deal with these universal urban problems, and is working with many municipalities around the globe to implement them.”

Mexico City hosted the sixth biennial C40 Mayors Summit on Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.

The Summit brought together C40 mayors from all over the world and hundreds of urban and sustainability officials to Mexico City. The organization says that its goals is “to advance urban solutions to climate change and highlight the leadership role of cities in addressing climate change.”

“It is no secret that in Mexico City, we grapple with the twin problems of air pollution and traffic,” said the Mayor of Mexico City Angel Miguel Mancera. “By expanding alternative transportation options like BYD electric buses and SkyRail, we are working to ease congestion in our roadways and improve the living environment for our people.”


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