The Nation (Nigeria)

ECO Green buses set to begin operation in Nigeria

- •ECO Greenbus By Tajudeen Adebanjo

EEco-green mass transit buses are soon to be introduced in some Nigerian city centres.

The buses already being used in major cities of the world are powered by recovered compressed natural gas (CNG), which is usually flared in the Niger Delta, and causing environmen­tal pollution and crisis in the region.

Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Technologi­es Nigeria Limited, Johann Rieger, said the Ecogreen buses had been built on European standards for critical climate and infrastruc­ture as in Nigeria.

According to him, the buses are the safest and most economic public mass transit vehicles that can reduce carbon footprints by 95 per cent and operating cost by 30 per cent.

Specifical­ly, he said the buses, coming with a lifespan of at least 15 years, had been equipped with engines of higher emission standards (Euro 5) with no toxic, smog or smoke, guaranteei­ng reduced noise and lower fuel costs. In Malaysia, those buses run 15 years with over 90 per cent average uptime.

Rieger also said the project would guarantee local capacity building of the buses through extensive transfer of the technology and know-how within a short time of the entire value chain.

Indeed, he said, “Up to 70 per cent of all components of the ecogreen buses should be manufactur­ed or assembled locally within five years of operation including the first green engine.”

He said the project would come with uniquely designed and efficient drivers’ safety training that would allow safe increase of passengers’ capacity by 30 per cent in accordance with internatio­nal standards of public transport.

He said the vehicle had been built with the highest operationa­l standards and expected to save the operator a minimum of $25,000 in comparison to any other large capacity bus.

He noted that six eco-green buses would do the job of at least 10 biggest BRT buses currently being operated in Nigeria and by switching over to locally available natural gas, he said at least $20,000 of foreign exchange is also saved.

He noted that driving with natural gas is the most environmen­tally friendly solution wherever this green fuel is available. They partnered already with local CNG suppliers who are ready to invest and guarantee 24/7 availabili­ty of the gas directly inside the bus depot of operators anywhere in the country.

About 90 per cent uptime, and maximum efficiency and transparen­cy would be guaranteed through permanent real-time monitoring of each bus by eco- telematics and extended after-sale service with 24/7 spare parts availabili­ty and directly including service and wear parts for the first two years, said Rieger.

Some of the unique features of an Eco-green bus are given as roof mounted CNG cylinder with up to 500km range and gas leakage detection system and tyre pressure monitoring system.

The air and surfaces in their buses is permanentl­y and chemical free sanitized by their ECO Viroxx air conditioni­ng system with bipolar ionization.

Others are speed limiter, alcohol test and driver’s fatigue detection with driver’s biometric identifica­tion, CCTV camera system that can be directly integrated into the city surveillan­ce system reverse camera; handicappe­d ramp and wheelchair area.

Rieger listed some of the technical features of the bus as electronic dashboard with extended ecotelemat­ics system, real time driver’s feedback on safety and economic driving; on board video education in cooperatio­n with UNICEF.

The bus is said to come on the same bus platform as 8.7m for 60 passengers; 10.5m for 80 passengers, 12m for 100 people and 18m accommodat­ing 160 passengers.

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