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The Seychelles Electric Mobility Project promises electric buses in Public transport

Twenty two electric buses will soon be introduced in the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) fleet, an announcement made recently (03/11/2022) during the official launch of the Electric mobility project. It was the Minister for Transport, Antony Derjacques who officially launched the Seychelles Electric Mobility project that aims at introducing more environmentally friendly transport in the country.

The four year project is being spearheaded by the UNEP in collaboration with the ministry of Transport. It is targeting better policy and strategy development to accommodate the current effort to transition to low carbon emission vehicles. It is also targeting enhanced technical capacity and the introduction of electric buses in public transport as means of initializing this transition.

It is of high importance to the Seychelles government as well as a global agenda to reduce the production of Green House Gas (GHG). Despite the Seychelles making a minimal contribution to the production of such highly detrimental gas, its vulnerability to such menaces of the highest as a small island developing state.

Thus the country’s high dependence on fuel import is another domestic factor affecting its ability to transition to a greener environment. In his opening speech, Minister Derjacques explained that 95% of Seychelles CO2 emission is from fuel combustion for electricity and transportation.

“The government of Seychelles recognizes that reducing dependence on fossil fuels for transport sector through low carbon transport strategies is not only desirable to reduce air pollution and GHG emissions, but also sustainable,” said Minister Derjacques.

The introduction of electric buses in public transport will contribute significantly with a 15% to 30 % reduction of fuel import for transport purposes by 2030. The integration of electric buses will be part of a pilot project where observation and collection of data will be done. This data will facilitate the steering committee’s work to develop effective policy and strategy for the full transition to greener transportation.

 “The demonstration project, which is an integral part of the project proposal, will provide evidence of technical, financial, and environmental sustainability enabling   SPTC to plan for scale-up of Seychelles’ e- bus fleet including but not being limited to the anticipated 22 electric buses part of a government to government agreement between the China and Seychelles. It is the aim of the demonstration project to define the technical and operational specifications of e-buses suitable for the conditions found in the Seychelles, such as 1.) Passenger capacity; 2.) Engine power; 3.) Range and battery capacity; 4.) Climbing ability / grade ability; 6.) Charging equipment among other parameters,” explained Mr. Geffy Zialor, Chief operations Officer for SPTC.

The Seychelles’ aim is to have 30% private electric vehicles by 2030 and 15.8MW of solar PV to meet the demand of electric energy for such transports.

The GEF/UNEP welcomes this local initiative as it is in line with the global objectives for electric mobility. During the inception ceremony UNEP highlighted some of the support they will be offering the country.  This will be technical, financial and systematic guidance for the planning and implementing of the project.

“The demonstration project will increase the visibility and assist with awareness raising for electric mobility. In addition to the awareness raising impact of the pilots, this will also help in providing critical technical information regarding uptake barriers and solutions, quantifying infrastructure gaps, potential policy interventions and the development of one e-bus scale-up financing proposal working towards the ultimate target to completely electrify the fleet of SPTC,”

Minister Derjacques stressed on the importance of strategic and policy frameworks that works in line with the national goal to electric public and private transportation.

“By further investigating the interdependencies between renewable power supplies and flexible power demands, for example, through the introduction of electric vehicles, the project will also work towards the renewable power supply of 15% by 2030 set in the 2010 Seychelles Energy Policy. The use of electric buses will also significantly reduce expenditures on diesel fuel and hence also reduce fuel subsidy expenditure,” noted Minister Derjacques.

The project is being backed by other concerned ministries such as the ministry for environment, climate change and agriculture as well as the private sector. It is expected to be completed in January 2026.

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