Lagos has officially launched the pilot programme for the implementation of its electric vehicle (EV) mass transit buses in the Nigerian commercial hub, as it pushes to become a modern-state with investments in green and modern transports.
The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) is partnering with Oando Clean Energy Limited (OECL) to launch the proof-of-concept with two electric buses that will ply the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) lanes in the state.
The mass transit bus, equipped with air conditioning and WIFI, comes with a capacity of 80 passengers for both seating and standing commuters. OECL has taken delivery of some charging stations and spare parts.
OECL, a subsidiary of the Nigerian multinational oil company Oando, is teaming up with China’s bus maker Yutong to put 12,000 electric buses on Nigerian roads over the next seven years. The partnership between Oando and Yutong also envisages the construction of a local assembly plant for the electric buses to boost indigenous capacity.
Partnerships for sustainable public transport
“This is a pivotal moment for Lagos State and the country at large,” CEO at OCEL, Ainojie Irune, said in a statement. “The development of a sustainable transport ecosystem is much more than the deployment of electric vehicles; it’s about reducing the carbon footprint of the seven million public transport commuters and positively impacting the socio-economic indices surrounding transportation. For us at OCEL, Lagos State is only the beginning, we look forward to replicating this model nationwide through strategic partnerships across the public and private sectors.”
Lagos State, Africa’s largest city with roughly 30 million people, is expected to save some $2.6 billion in fuel and maintenance costs, as it transits from the current combustion mass transit system to an electric powered scheme.
“This is a watershed moment for Yutong,” Managing Director, Yutong West Africa, Frank Lee, said. “It’s our first delivery of electric mass transit buses in Sub-Saharan Africa and the first step in the large-scale deployment of an electric powered public road transport system in Nigeria. I must commend the collaborative efforts of the Lagos State Government through LAMATA in seeing this project through.”
Lagos is modernising its logistics infrastructure for urban mobility. Despite delays, the state has made steady progress on its Lagos Rail Mass Transit network currently being developed under the Lagos Strategic Transport Master Plan. The development of the master plan was supported and funded by the World-Bank and notably identified 14 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors, six rail lines and one monorail.