The keys to the first 26 Euro VI gas, high-quality rapid transit Crealis buses (BRT), were handed 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, produced by IVECO Bus, a brand of CNH Industrial, were welcomed with great enthusiasm by Abidjan's population.
Engaged since 2016 in a significant program to renew its public transport fleet, the 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 which will be delivered 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 compressed natural gas (CNG) rapid transit Crealis buses offer significant benefits in terms of reducing polluting emissions and noise: near zero fine-particle emissions, 60% reduction in NOx and a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions, and noise levels are cut by half resulting in exceptionally quiet operation. The Ivory Coast Government is thereby facilitating Abidjan Transport to work towards improving air quality and combating global warming, like many European cities. In addition, natural gas powered vehicles offer the perfect technical solution to the issue of varying fuel quality in Africa.
Moreover, the Government's proactive choice in favor of natural gas confirms that it is a valid solution for Ivory Coast and a real opportunity given the country's vast energy reserves. These CNG vehicles, which meet 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."
Intended for busy main routes, the 18-m version of the Crealis offers high passenger capacity along with an extremely modern and bright interior arrangement. Available with a range of powerplant alternatives, the Crealis has also obtained numerous awards such as the "Busworld Comfort Label 2017", the "Innovation Award 2018", and the “Sustainable Bus of the Year 2019."