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China's BYD unveils SkyRail mass transit solution at Mayors Summit

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-02 15:32

MEXICO CITY - Chinese company BYD on Thursday unveiled its innovative and cost-effective SkyRail mass transit solution at the 2016 C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City.

The elevated monorail system has been specially designed to tackle the biggest challenges which today's bustling urban centers are facing: air pollution, traffic congestion and climate change.

Pollution and congestion "have become the world's two major ills," as residents of major cities across the planet can prove it, BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said at a press conference.

What makes SkyRail particularly suitable to the world's major capitals and cities is "its adaptability to existing streets ... and building density," Wang said.

The rail system's "small footprint," or support structure, is made of columns that are only one meter in diameter, meaning they can be built on existing medians, and costly demolition will not be required, Wang stressed.

The monorail's "excellent topographic adaptability" also means it can be built to pass through buildings.

According to BYD, the SkyRail costs only a fifth of what it does to build a subway line, and it can save the construction time by one third.

Stella Li, BYD Vice President for the Americas, told Xinhua, "Any city with a population of more than 5 million to 7 million should consider the SkyRail" as a public transit alternative.

As one of the world's largest makers of rechargeable batteries, BYD has made it its mission to innovate more environment-friendly battery technologies.

The company's long-lasting and fully-recyclable iron-phosphate battery, known as the Fe Battery, "has become the core of its clean energy platform," and is expanding into more fields such as electric cars, buses, trucks, and utility vehicles.

Wang also officially kicked off BYD's "Cool the Earth by One Degree" program, an invitation to mayors and other officials around the world to reverse global warming by embracing clean technologies.

At the press conference, Wang also signed a purchase contract with the city of Cape Town, South Africa, making it the first African city to incorporate electric buses into its mass transit fleet.

"Today, we become the first city in Africa to buy our first 10 electric buses. Thank you for helping us to reduce carbon emissions and saving our planet," Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said after the signing.

In Latin America, BYD's electric buses already form part of transit fleets in cities in Colombia and Brazil.

C40 brings megacities together to address their common problems, mainly climate change.

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