BYD today unveiled its SkyRail electric monorail at the biannual C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City. SkyRail is part of the company’s urban transportation solution, which aims to address air pollution and traffic congestion.
BYD President/Chairman Wang Chuanfu made the announcement as he called on countries around the world to reduce the earth’s temperature by 1 degree Celsius. The company’s efforts have reduced carbon emissions by around 310 million kg over the past five years — the equivalent to planting 26 million trees.
BYD’s public appeal comes nearly one month after the Paris Climate Agreement entered into force. The treaty commits countries like China and the U.S. to keep global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
Prior to its international launch in Mexico City, BYD debuted its SkyRail in October 2016 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 USD). Compared to the subway, SkyRail’s construction costs are 80 percent less and only take a third of the time to build. BYD has already secured a 60 billion yuan (around 8.7 billion USD) loan from China Development Bank to develop SkyRail. The company will also build a SkyRail network of 21 miles in Shantou, a city of 5 million people in Southern China.
BYD’s solar energy panels, energy storage systems and other modes of electric transport are currently sold in more than 50 countries and regions. 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.