Seychelles
Image credit: Daniel Laurence, Seychelles News Agency

Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) is set to conduct a pilot study next year with electric buses to test whether or not they work well as a mode of public transportation.

Explaining about the project, Principal Secretary for Energy and Climate Change, Wills Agricole said: “The buses will be run and tested. The aim is to analyse their efficiency on our roads. It will help us decide on the routes that the buses will take as Seychelles is a mountainous area and electric buses are not really designed for hilly roads.”

According to the Seychelles News Agency, local company Global Ocean Investments, has shown interest in investing in electric buses in the group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.

The company’s chief executive, Justin Etzin, said the importance of starting to remove the Tata fuel buses currently being used as public transportation by SPTC was raised in a meeting with President Danny Faure.

He said that these buses are inadequate and unsuitable for the roads in Seychelles.

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Carbon emissions

“The electric bus feels like a technology whose time has come. Cars and buses are responsible for about a quarter of worldwide emissions. Buses may be just a small number of the vehicles on the road in Seychelles but they have an outsize effect on the environment because they’re so dirty,” Etzin noted.

He added that “electric buses on the electric grids into which they are plugged are much better for the environment. They are also just much nicer to be around with less vibration, less noise and zero exhaust. Plus, in the long term, electric buses have much lower operating costs. They have streamlined electric engines and easier to maintain.”

Seychelles electric mobility project

The Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change and the Department of Land Transport are collaborating to deploy the Seychelles electric mobility project which will cost $500,000.

The project to be financed by the United Nation’s Global Environment Facility, will help island nation towards a low carbon transport pathway, reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

“The government of Seychelles recognises that reducing dependence on fossil fuels for the transport sector through low carbon transport strategies is desirable to reduce air pollution and GHG emissions,” said Agricole.

Seychelles has an energy policy 2010-2030 in place as a guide towards reducing consumption of fossil fuels by 15% by 2030.