April 16, 2024

Oando, LAMATA electric mass transit buses begin passenger service, as Lagos State govt. carries out experiment to phase-out ICE buses 

Oredola Adeola
The Lagos State Government through the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL), has commenced the transitioning of the Lagos State public transport system from the current Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) mass transit buses to an environmentally friendly electric mass transit buses as parts of the state towards entrenching a carbon-free mobility ecosystem.
The formal commencement of operations of the electric mass transit buses was held on Tuesday in a grand ceremony at Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL) head office, in Illupeju, Lagos.State.
EnergyDay gathered that the two EV buses delivered by Oando to LAMATA, earlier in the month, will be found on Oshodi- Ikorodu, and Ikorodu -TBS routes during the pilot phase.  The two buses are part of the 12,000 electric Yutong U12 model buses expected to be delivered within the next seven years, once the pilot scheme shows positive signs in the mobility ecosystem within the Lagos State.
Our correspondent gathered that the roll-out of the electric buses starts with a three-month Proof-of-Concept phase, aimed at establishing the viability of electric vehicles for mass transportation in Lagos State and deriving key learnings for an expanded program across the country.
OANDO confirmed that the electric buses can travel up to 280km on a full battery charge, which is equivalent to a round trip from Ajah to Ibadan, adding that the regenerative braking system helps the battery to last longer and reduces maintenance costs.
This will be followed by a pilot phase with an expanded fleet and bus routes, and the eventual countrywide deployment creating employment for over 30,000 Nigerians.
Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, Managing Director of LAMATA in his remark at the commencement of the operation said that the Public-Private-Partnerships with the renewable energy subsidiary of Oando, Nigeria’s leading energy solutions provider, is a major aspect of the state’s vision for transportation in Lagos State.
desire to have a clean and efficient transportation system.
He said, “The kickoff was proof of our desire to involve the private sector in our activities to give the average Lagosian the ability to meet their mobility needs.
“LAMATA is a multi-fuel transport regulatory agency for Lagos hence the partnership with OCEL for the use of EV buses in passenger operations is a way of affirming our commitment to openness to doing business with the private sector whilst ensuring that these partners are aligned with the vision of Lagos state.
“I am elated that in just over a year since Oando Clean Energy came to us to discuss the possibility of working with us in the deployment of electric buses, we have signed an MoU with a key deliverable being the implementation of a PoC that would allow us finally include electric buses in our ecosystem.”
Engineer Olalere Odusote, Lagos State Commissioner for Energy & Mineral Resources, Lagos State, in his presentation, emphasised that the government has identified transportation as a major cause of pollutants and health problems in the State.
He said, “For us, this initiative is another step we’re taking as a government to ensure we clean up the environment in addition to ongoing initiatives in the energy sector.”

Dr. Ainojie Irune President/CEO of OCEL, on his part, said that electric vehicles are expected to address transportation’s 62% contribution to Nigeria’s GHG emissions.

According to him, this initiative is an opportunity for us to revolutionize mobility in our country as well as build local capacity for the renewable and clean energy ecosystem.
He said, “Today, these buses have come from across the world, in the very near future they will be produced here in Nigeria. In the very near future, we will have a multitude of locally trained engineers who are capable of operating, maintaining, and servicing these buses and other renewable energy assets. We see these buses as a first step.
“This Proof of Concept(PoC) facilitates the collection of the first sets of data points to support the development and deployment of EVs for municipal and public transport on the continent. Our ambition together with Lagos state, is to set our sights on the future and chart a path for others to follow. We have worked tirelessly to get here.”
OCEL’s President said, “We believe that these electric vehicles have the potential to transform the transportation sector in Nigeria and provide a sustainable solution for the country’s growing population.”

He further confirmed that OCEL has invested and deployed charging stations in bus depots to ensure the buses are always fully charged.  Furthermore, extensive training has been provided to the drivers on the proper use and maintenance of the buses.

Dr. Irune added that the company plans to expand its services through partnerships with leading players in the global renewable energy space, adding that the project exemplifies Oando’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in achieving her ambitious goal of becoming net zero by 2060, and indeed Lagos State’s commitment to net zero by 2050.

Dr. Frederic Oladeiende, Commissioner of Transport who represented the Governor of Lagos State in his closing remark affirmed that the operational kick-off is an attempt to write the script for a new future in the state.
 He said, “Today, there is abundant evidence that shows that human activities have been the main drivers of climate change primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.
“This situation has given rise to affirmative actions by world leaders and environmentalists to act fast to save our world.  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 actions to build a sustainable low carbon economy in the pursuit of achieving net zero emissions by 2050,” the Commissioner said.