Chinese bus maker Yutong on Tuesday launched the first electric mass transit buses targeting public transport in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, as the country prepares for the gradual shift from internal combustion engine-powered vehicles to sustainable electric vehicles (EVs).
The project is a collaboration between the Oando Clean Energy Limited, Yutong’s partner in Nigeria, and the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority to start proof-of-concept with two Yutong electric buses on the Bus Rapid Transit road in Lagos.
The mass transit bus has a capacity of 80 passengers with room for both seating and standing commuters.
Speaking at the official launch event of the proof-of-concept phase of the electric bus project, the governor of the Lagos state Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the move to adopt electric mobility technology is in sync with the state’s aspiration to be a modernized and mechanized megacity.
Represented by Frederic Oladeinde, commissioner for transportation in the state, the governor said the state was committed to increasing the number of green vehicles through partnerships to boost the sustainability of the sector.
According to the governor, the public transport system in the country is also keen to play a positive role in reducing carbon emissions. He said the new electric buses will reduce carbon emissions and also increase efficiency.
Frank Lee, managing director of Yutong West Africa, told Xinhua on the phone it is a milestone for Yutong as this is the first time the Chinese bus maker launches electric city buses in Nigeria and even in Africa.
“During the proof-of-concept phase and the subsequent formal operation phase, Yutong team will provide comprehensive and professional training, technical support and maintenance services to ensure the smooth operation of electric buses in Nigeria,” Lee said.
He said Yutong is looking to create a mobility solution that is inclusive, modern, efficient and sustainable, and expects to be part of the sustainable transport development in Nigeria.
According to Yutong, the buses are equipped with battery packs that allow for a range of 280 km. It also has the ability to fully charge in more than two hours through DC charging ports, giving operators full flexibility to decide their charging and operating schedules.