The Ivorian Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, and the Transport Minister Amadou Koné, officially handed the keys of the first CNG rapid transit Crealis buses to the CEO of SOTRA, Meité Bouaké, in the presence of Pierre Lahutte, IVECO Brand President, and Sylvain Blaise, IVECO Vice President in charge of the bus and coach business.
The delegation used the occasion to welcome the arrival of the first-ever natural gas vehicles in Africa, announce their new official name "Lémergent", and reaffirm the Ivorian government's commitment to sustainable mobility and to the IVECO BUS brand, leader in this field.
Lyon, December 14th
Yesterday, the Ivorian Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, and the Transport Minister, Amadou Koné, officially handed the keys of the first 26 natural-gas-powered, high-quality rapid transit Crealis buses (BRT), to the CEO of SOTRA, Meité Bouaké, in the presence of Pierre Lahutte, IVECO Brand President, and Sylvain Blaise, IVECO Vice President in charge of the bus and coach business. These first-ever natural-gas vehicles in Africa were welcomed with great enthusiasm by Abidjan's population.
Engaged since 2016 in a vast program to renew its public transport fleet, the Ivorian government signed a contract last January for the supply of 450 IVECO BUS vehicles, including 50 Crealis articulated high-capacity rapid-transit buses powered by natural gas, for delivery on a staggered basis by the end of the year.
During the ceremony, which was held at SOTRA's premises in Abidjan, the Prime Minister also emphasized the government's commitment to sustainable mobility and the political will to continue investing in the country's public transport network. These CNG high quality rapid transit Crealis buses are precursors as they offer particularly significant benefits in terms of pollution emissions and noise: fine-particle emissions near zero, 60% reduction in NOx and 15% reduction in CO2 emissions, and noise levels cut by half resulting in exceptionally quiet operation. The Ivorian government is thus permitting Abidjan Transport to work towards improving air quality and combating global warming, like many European cities.
Moreover, the government's proactive choice in favour of natural gas confirms that it is a pertinent solution for Ivory Coast and a real opportunity given the country's vast energy reserves. These compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, which meet all the latest Euro VI environmental standards, are also 100% compatible with biogas obtained by methanation of food or agricultural waste. Biomethanation thus supports the recycling industry and energy-recovery from agricultural waste. Another great opportunity for Ivory Coast.
Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, says: "The acquisition of these vehicles is a first for Africa and a key step in our willing to improve transport services and the quality of life of transport users in Abidjan. To continue this momentum, the Ivorian government has decided to put in place a Development and Financing Plan for a nationwide public transport network, with its trusted partner IVECO BUS as the standard-setter in natural gas vehicles. "
"We are proud of contributing to the development of Abidjan's public transport services and initiating the ecological and energy transition of this pioneering country. By choosing natural gas vehicles, the Ivorian government is honouring an entire industrial sector, in particular IVECO BUS which is a historic major player, and also includes leading operators in the field of energy and engines," adds Sylvain Blaise, IVECO Vice President in charge of the bus and coach division.
Intended for heavily-travelled main routes, the 18-metre version of the Crealis offers high passenger capacity along with an extremely modern and bright interior arrangement: wide windows and LED lighting guarantee optimal light levels and an unparalleled feeling of comfort. Design-wise, it stands out by its striking lines and upscale finish and trim, for even greater passenger comfort and service.
Produced with a range of powerplant alternatives, the Crealis has also obtained numerous prestigious awards such as the "Busworld Comfort Label 2017", the "Innovation Award 2018", and the “Sustainable Bus of the Year 2019".