Nigeria: New Gas-Powered Buses Hit Nigerian Market

17 September 2021

As the world shifts attention from petrol-powered vehicles, Austrian Technologies Nigeria has introduced natural gas-powered vehicles into the Nigerian market; promising to substantially reduce carbon emission from vehicles and the attendant danger to human health.

The firm announced this in a statement which also provided details of the full range of the ECO-Green buses.

The Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Technologies Nigeria, Johann Rieger, said the buses built with European standards for critical climate and infrastructure were targeted at private and public transport operators in Nigeria.

According to him, the buses are rated among the safest and most economical mass transit vehicles globally and can reduce carbon footprints by 95 per cent and operating cost by 30 per cent.

He said, "We also have 5.4m (Hiace type), as well as 6.5m and 7.5m (Toyota Coaster) type buses. This is crucial for the further development of the Nigerian transport sector to include Danfo operators and other stakeholders in public transport operations."

Mr Rieger further stated that the buses had been equipped with gas engines of higher emission standards (Euro 5) with no toxic, smog or smoke; guaranteeing reduced noise and lower fuel cost.

The firm gave some of the unique features of the ECO-Green buses as roof mounted CNG cylinder with up to 500km range and gas leakage detection system; tyre pressure monitoring system; two emergency roof hatches (front/rear); fire extinguisher in driver's cabin and automatic fire extinguishers in engine compartment; all disc brakes with automatic slack adjuster and ABS.

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.

He said the firm planned to set up an assembly plant and enough refilling stations in the country.

Rieger explained that, "Up to 70 per cent of all components of the ECO-Green buses should be manufactured or assembled locally within five years of operation, including the first green engine."

The company offers bus simulators, bus scanners, telematics and ICT and intensive training of drivers and maintenance personnel to assure proper maintenance of the vehicles, he added.

Specifications

The standard at ECO-Green buses is a monocoque chassis-body structure with advanced frame safety technology.

The core is a 3H high-strength body with front and rear buffer beams, roll-over safety frame and absorbed energy structure.

The key advantages of this technology, according to the manufacturers, are higher safety for passengers through optimised distribution of impact forces through overall body frame structure; improved life span of structure; lower operating costs (maintenance, tyres, fuel consumption); and the weight advantage over a classical chassis-body structure.

The whole vehicle runs through an 18-stage E-coating process (cathode electrophoretic coating) for corrosion protection.

All buses come with maintenance-free DANA axles and adjustable Front and rear air suspension with FIRESTONE air bags. All wheels have disc brakes with automatic slack adjuster from KNORR in combination with WABCO ABS. This high European safety standard improves safety and reliability of buses and supports operations by high availability of buses through reduced down time and shortened time of maintenance. The life span of these components is a multiple of the normally applied low-cost components.

A tyre pressure monitoring system with display on the instrument panel and full integration into the ECO Telematics system is standard and one of the core safety features of ECO Green Buses. BOSCH power steering is one of the world's safest steering systems for commercial vehicles.

The cockpit is highly ergonomic. The combination of the fully integrated digital cockpit and employment of high-quality European core components are just some of the key factors that make ECO Green Buses efficient and safe.

The possibility to convert gas buses to zero emission hydrogen operation upon local availability of hydrogen is another unique feature of ECO Green Buses. Bus structure, gas supply chain and safety equipment are already prepared for such conversion at little effort and costs.

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