Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), a public utilities company in Colombia’s second largest city, reached an important milestone this week in its commitment to sustainable mobility in the Aburrá Valley, attaining 50,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) customers. EPM began promoting natural gas fuel from 2002, and today has 60% of users in private cars and 40% in public service.
“Over these 12 years of service promoting natural gas as an alternative fuel are many initiatives on the topic of sustainable mobility that have brought others to join forces and wills [with EPM], like the Mayor of Medellin, Metro, Área Metropolitana, Metroplús and vehicle conversion workshops committed to environmental stewardship and quality of the air we breathe. Today we want to highlight all those-people and companies who have trusted and chosen to use their vehicles in a clean, economical and safe energy, “said Juan Esteban Calle Restrepo, CEO of EPM.
Medellin’s Sustainable Mobility strategy has recorded significant progress, EPM states in a press release. Lines 1 and 2 of the Metro mass transit system have 67 CNG buses, a mix of standard and articulated. Additionally, feeder basins for the system already have 257 buses dedicated to run on CNG, which demonstrates the commitment of Medellin to boost the use of clean fuels and friendly to the environment.
A taxi driver is EPM’s 50,000th NGV customer — John Albeiro Castro Carmona, 46, who has driven taxis for 20 years, the last 8 using CNG, has just bought a new taxi and instantly converted it to CNG also.
EPM commenced offering financial support for the conversion of private and public service vehicles and commercial fleets to CNG in 2002. The company currently has five conversion center partners (Autofrancia, Eurogas, Gas Inyección, Gas Express and Suragas) and 11 CNG refueling stations under the EPM brand, out of 60 sites that are currently in operation in the Aburrá Valley.
EPM offers encouragement to vehicle owners considering CNG conversion through lines of credit that match the needs of customers and which can be repaid via utility bills. Vehicle conversions are covered by a three-year warranty.
The growth of the natural gas vehicle population throughout Colombia has pushed the national fleet to almost half a million NGVs, EPM reports.