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Oando, LAMATA launches electric bus from Ajah to Ibadan 

Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL), the renewable energy subsidiary of Oando, Nigeria’s leading energy solutions provider; in partnership with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport

Authority (LAMATA) have marked the commencement of operations of its electric mass transit buses which could deliver 12,000 electric buses as part of the state’s public transport fleet in the next five years if the initial test stage proceeds successfully.

Oando, LAMATA launches electric bus from Ajah to Ibadan 
Oando, LAMATA launches electric bus from Ajah to Ibadan

On Tuesday, the state’s transport agency, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) in partnership with Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL), launched a proof of concept with two electric buses and a charging station built inside the LAMATA office.

Speaking on a key motivation for the project, Ainojie Alex Irune, President/CEO of OCEL, said: “We see sea levels expected to rise over 2 meters by the end of the century if nothing is done. It is our collective responsibility to ensure we minimise the effect of this rise.

“Every oil and gas company globally has seen a shift in the mindset. Our focus before was to explore fossil fuels but now we see a low-carbon future as part of our responsibility. Our decision before was to go into fossil fuels, but now we see a future in low.

Oando, LAMATA launches electric bus from Ajah to Ibadan 
Oando, LAMATA launches electric bus from Ajah to Ibadan

The test stage of the process involves the use of two buses with a 46-seater capacity manufactured by Chinese firm Yutong. They can travel up to 280 km on a full battery charge – a distance equivalent to Ibadan from Ajah and back.

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The promoters say when idle for 11 hours, the electric mass transit buses will only discharge 12 percent of the battery, meaning the battery capacity is more than enough to sustain itself for 24 hours in traffic without running down.

Irune said the deployment of the electric buses would help gather data on future deployments of electric buses in Nigeria’s mass transit systems.

Abimbola Akinajo, managing director of LAMATA said the agency is to become a multi-fuel transport regulator open to doing business with the private sector.

Akinajo said Oando Clean Energy approached the agency last year with a proposal to add electric vehicles to Lagos public transport fleet. The agency representing the government signed an agreement with its partners to drive the project.

In 2022, OCEL signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA), to enable the successful deployment of an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Ecosystem (electric buses, charging stations, and other supporting infrastructure) towards the attainment of a sustainable road transport system in the state.

Part of the terms of the MOU includes an initial proof of concept to gather data that will be used to determine the viability the sustainability of the project.

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Following the success of the proof of concept which will go on between two and four months, it will proceed to the pilot stage where 50 buses would be added, and then the full-scale rollout where hundreds of buses would be added to the fleet,

According to the partnership, Oando is providing the initial capital outlay to finance the acquisition of the buses and charging stations while LAMATA along with Primero and the Lagos State Bus Service will handle operations.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Transport, Frederic Oladehinde said that environmental concerns were key considerations in the decision of the state to support initiatives that will cut emissions in the transport sector.

“It is instructive to note that Lagos is the only state in Nigeria that has prepared and initiated the execution of a climate action plan. The plan outlines 26 efforts covering adaptation and mitigation action to build a sustainable low-carbon economy in the pursuit of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, ten years ahead of the federal government plan in 2060.

“Over the years, we have been involved in the use of cleaner energy in public transportation. To gather useful data on its use, we have deployed 10 CNG buses on the Lekki-Epe Expressway since 2022. We are also working with the union of transport union to feasibility studies on the use of biofuels for public transportation

The Commissioner also said the government was partnering with the World Bank in research to determine the sustainable e-mobility in urban and rural areas. It will aid in the creation of the country strategy and regulatory framework for integrated technical and financial study for electric public buses in Lagos, capacity power charging stations, compare the

“What we are trying to do is run with CNG as the same with diesel buses and compare with electric buses to try and understand the operational costs, operational implications, financial implications, infrastructure required, and then with that data, we develop a sustainable, easily maintained and peculiar to the nature of Lagos.”

He said the objective of the proof of concept phase was to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of deployment of electric buses for commercial use within the metropolis, monitor the effectiveness of the charging systems, confirm daily required electric charges per milage during peak and off-peak period and on the days of the week.

It would also determine the financial viability in relation to the operation cost of the project and train drivers and service operators on the service.

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