Oando partners Yutong to deliver electric buses for Lagos mass transit

Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL) said it has taken delivery of electric mass transit buses, which will kick off the Proof of Concept phase of its Sustainable Transport Initiative.

OCEL, in a statement on Wednesday, said the move was in realisation of its commitment to the partnership entered with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).

Consequently, OCEL said it is partnering with Yutong Bus Co Limited, the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer to produce electric buses, equipped with air conditioning and Wi-Fi.

“In addition to the arrival of these electric buses, OCEL has also taken delivery of the charging stations and spare parts necessary to ensure their effective operation.

“Consequently, and in line with the provisions of the partnership between OCEL and LAMATA, the receipt of both the buses and charging stations marks the commencement of our Sustainable Transport Initiative, which is one of the Company’s pipeline projects to support Nigeria in meeting her goal of net zero by 2060.

“The company’s strategic vision is to decarbonize the transport system in Nigeria and in the process, strengthen the socio-economic impact of transportation within the country. Over the next seven years, and through the rollout of over 12,000 buses, this initiative will transition the current combustion mass transit buses to electric, starting in Lagos State and eventually across the country.

“In the medium to long term, and in line with our ambitions, our efforts within sustainable transport will lead to improved air quality, enhanced public health, enable the employment of at least 3,000 new drivers and an additional 2,000 workers to support bus maintenance, depot management, etc. as well as estimated economic cost savings of $2.6billion (3.6per cent of Lagos’s GDP).

“Notably, the company’s EV roll-out plan is strategically aligned with the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan (NETP); specifically supporting the Government’s roadmap for EV implementation across Nigeria and its ambition to boost local capacity in the medium term through the construction of EV assembly plants,” the statement said.

Commenting, Managing Director, Yutong West Africa, Mr. Frank Lee in a statement said: “This is a watershed moment for Yutong. 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.

“We are excited to be embarking on this journey in partnership with Oando, an organization with a history of stellar performance in the energy sector and are hopeful to see a quick turnaround in our joint plans to advance all facets of the country’s transition to eco-friendly vehicles, including the development of local capacity through the delivery of, and exposure to extensive training programs for all stakeholders, from drivers to operators and the regulators.

“Our foray into Sub-Saharan Africa has transformed us into a global supplier of EVs with customers across the Middle East, Europe, South America and Asia. Our electric vehicles offer outstanding performance due to their advanced technology capabilities and testing for different terrains; all of which make our buses particularly well suited for use as a public transportation option in Nigeria.”

Also commenting, Chairman of OCEL, Adewale Tinubu, said: “Audacity and innovation have always been key tenets in our journey to transform Nigeria’s energy future. It’s this spirit that has brought us to this juncture today – at the forefront of propelling Nigeria towards realizing her netzero targets.

“The arrival of our electric mass transit buses and development of an EV infrastructure ecosystem is a reminder that the only way to remain ahead of the curve is by being  unafraid to break new ground and consistently looking for opportunities to leapfrog.

“Furthermore, this project underscores the African saying, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.’ Public-Private Partnerships have been critical to getting the project to this point and will continue to fuel our expansion across the entire country. I must commend the collaborative efforts of the Lagos State Government through LAMATA in seeing this project through.

“The commencement of this project gives us a platform to showcase to other States what is possible and open the door for engagements on bespoke solutions to suit their local  needs as well as act as a model to be adopted by other organizations looking to venture into  sustainable transportation.”

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