Zero-Emissions ‘Metrocable,’ Electric-Car Recharging Gain More Ground in Medellin
Medellin Mayor Federico Gutiérrez announced November 20 that the city’s enormously popular “Metro” public-transport network will add yet another zero-emissions aerial-tram “Metrocable” system — helping to stem air pollution mainly caused by obsolete diesel and gasoline vehicles.
The 2.8-kilometers-long, COP$298 billion (US$99 million) “El Picacho” aerial tram is due to start construction in 2018 and then start-up in late 2019 or 2020. France-based Poma — which has built Medellin’s other aerial tram systems — won the competitive bidding for the project.
While most of the residents that must abandon nearly 400 homes to make way for construction of the new “Picacho” route have agreed to move, the city still hasn’t gotten 100% approvals, which could delay completion.
The “Picacho” line would serve about 160,000 people living in the working-class Northwest neighborhoods of Castilla and Doce de Octubre.
That line will join Metro’s existing electric-powered Metro rail system, an expanding electric-powered “Tranvia” road-tram network, the “Encicla” zero-emissions bicycle system, and the low-emissions, natural-gas-fueled “Metroplus” bus rapid transit (BRT) systems. The “Metroplus” BRT system also could be converted to zero-emissions electric power over the coming decade following initial tests underway on Metro’s first electric-powered bus.
Medellin gets virtually all its electric power from zero-emissions hydroelectric dams, with Medellin-based power utility EPM expanding capacity with the 2.4-gigawatt “Hidroituango” hydropower plant partially starting-up in late 2018.
Exito, EPM Expand EV Recharging
Meanwhile, Medellin-based multinational supermarket giant Exito announced November 21 that it’s opening the first two of a series of public electric vehicle (EV) recharging stations in Medellin – initially at the Éxito Poblado supermarket and at the “Viva” mall in the Laureles neighborhood.
While only a handful of EVs exist in Medellin to-date, local car manufacturer Renault (and its joint-venture partner Nissan) is one of the world’s leading makers of mass-market EVs — mainly in Europe, so far. However, Renault has been boosting promotional sales of its “Twizy” mini-EV here in Medellin and could expand to more EV models in future.
“In the next few months, we will add two more [EV] charging stations at Éxito Envigado and Viva Palmas” in metro Medellin, added Claudia Echavarría Uribe, corporate affairs director at Grupo Éxito.
On the same day, EPM announced that it will have 20 EV recharging stations installed in metro Medellin by end-December 2017. That total includes the two new recharge stations involving Exito as well as a just-opened recharge station at the El Tesoro mall.
Additional EV recharge stations coming over the next month include Santafé mall, Unicentro mall, Los Molinos mall, Florida Parque Comercial, Mayorca mall (Sabaneta), Puerta del Norte (Bello); Viva Envigado, Plaza Mayor, Primer Parque de Laureles, Centro de Negocios Milla de Oro and Mall Río 10, according to EPM.