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ECO Green Bus eyes Nigerian market with full range

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Natural gas-powered vehicle manufacturer, Austrian Technologies Nigeria, says its full models of ECO-Green buses are set to hit the Nigerian market.

It says the buses built with European standards for critical climate and infrastructure are targeted at private and public transport operators in Nigeria including schools and corporate organisations.

Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Technologies Nigeria Limited, Johann Rieger, who gave details of the full range says the buses are on a single platform comprising 8.5m length (Marcopolo size)  for 60 passengers; 10.5m for 80 passengers, 12m for 100 people, 12.8m for 110 passengers and 18m accommodating 160 passengers.

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 are-higher safety for passengers through optimized distribution of impact forces through overall of 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.

The electrophoretic paint becomes a layer of even, smooth, and strong adhesive paint film on the surface of body frame after electrochemical reaction. It makes the surface of body frame and inner cavity of being strongly anticorrosive, antirust, salt fog resistant and heat moist resistant and antirust of up to 12 years.

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 montoring system with display on 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 driver receives direct feedback in real-time on his/her behaviour in safety and economic driving through the digital dashboard and ECO Telematics system.

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.

The MD said the buses are the safest and most economic mass transit vehicles which could 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.” It is crucial for the further development of Nigerian transport sector to include and onboard Danfo operators and other stakeholders into the public transport operations.

Rieger noted that the buses are equipped with gas engines of higher emission standards (Euro 5) with no toxic, smog or smoke, guaranteeing reduced noise and lower fuel costs

Some of the unique features of an ECO-green bus are given 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, automatic fire extinguishers in engine compartment; all disc brakes with automatic slack adjuster and the 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.

All buses are equipped with ECO Viroxx air purification system, a bipolar ionization system integrated into the ventilation system of ECO Green Buses. It is the only system worldwide that permanently and chemical free sanitizes the indoor air in buses throughout the entire operation.

The ECO Viroxx bipolar ionization technology is clinically proven to inactivate up to 99.999% of COVID-19 and other viruses and germs. SARS-Corona viruses can be rendered completely harmless at the molecular level by destroying the structure of their virus surface, envelopes, and tips.

High-energy ionization of the cabin and the production of a bipolar aerial ionization network can achieve a natural air disinfection rate of over 99.999 per cent (log 5). This process inactivates or eliminates viruses, germs, bacteria, molds and eliminates unpleasant smells.

Rieger said, “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.”

Additionally, the company offers bus Simulator, bus scanners, telematics and ICT and intensive training of drivers and maintenance personnel to assure proper maintenance of vehicles.

 

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CIG upgrades Lagos auto plant to CKD, plans 5,000 vehicles yearly

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A new auto assembly plant being constructed by CIG Motors Company Limited in conjunction with the Lagos State Government has been upgraded from Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) vehicles to Complete Knocked Down vehicle components (CKD), the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.

The governor disclosed this on Thursday during an inspection of the construction work at the Ogba project site, adding that the plant to assemble GAC brand of vehicles, would be ready by the end of this year.

The governor was received by the Chairman of the CIG Motors, Chief Diana Chen.

A statement by Gboyega Akosile, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, said Sanwo-Olu, who inspected the fully equipped assembly hall already constructed in the assembly yard, said the plant would produce 5,000 new vehicles and gradually increase to 10,000 units annually.

Part of the statement read, “Sanwo-Olu’s visit came 17 months after the governor formally sealed a Joint Venture Agreement with the automobile company for the establishment of a vehicle assembly plant in the state.

“The plant, expected to be delivered by the end of the year, will have a jointly-run factory for the production of different classes of brand new cars.

“Establishment of the vehicle assembly plant in Lagos was part of the bilateral agreements reached by the state government and Chinese investors’ community in November 2019 during Sanwo-Olu’s business trip to China.

“IBILE Holdings Limited, a state-owned corporation, is supervising the investment on behalf of the Lagos State Government.

“Other ancillary facilities already in place in the yard include wheel balancing chamber, spraying booths, maintenance hall, noise testing chambers, sprinkling arena to test for roof leakage, staff lounge and auto parts warehouse.”

The statement quoted Sanwo-Olu as saying, “This is one of the things we promised Lagosians. Apart from our relationship with CIG Motors, there is a partnership in which we are setting up a vehicle assembly plant.

“This is becoming a reality, as the site is live with structures and assembly equipment. The place has been well prepared for the production of vehicles. We initially agreed it would be SKD (Semi Knocked Down) but now the facility has moved to CKD (Completely Knocked Down).

“We are hoping that their first plan is to have a production capacity of 5,000 vehicles, after which it will be pushed to 10,000 vehicles per year.

“We are happy with the level of work at the site and the commitment of our partner to this project. The plan is that we want to stop buying fully built vehicles from abroad; we want to be able to have an assembly line where we can employ our citizens in an automobile production chain.”

According to him, the automobile assembly plant will create employment opportunities for local skilled workers, as 95 per cent of the workforce would be sourced locally.

“Also, some of the parts used in the assembly plant would be sourced locally, including air conditioning system, valves, ball joints, bolts and nuts, and batteries.”

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Ford to use renewable energy sources for vehicles

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Ford Motor Company has said every vehicle it manufactures in Michigan will be assembled using solar and other renewable energy sources as from 2025 in order to lower their emissions.

Ford Motor, General Electric and Xerox are among more than 90 companies and organizations that pledged in February to reduce their carbon emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030—without the use of offsets.

Already, Reuters reports that Michigan-based Ford has signed a renewable energy purchase pact with local provider DTE Energy, under which the utility firm will add 650 megawatts of new solar energy in the state for the automaker.

Ford operates three plants in Michigan at Dearborn, Wayne and Flat Rock that build the F-150, Mustang, Ranger and Bronco models.

Ford and other firms made that ambitious commitment as part of the US Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge programme.

In addition to helping the environment, the new initiative could help companies save money, foster innovation and add a new dimension to corporate activism.

John Savona, Ford’s vice president for manufacturing and labour affairs, said in a statement, “We’re proud to be the first automaker to join the Better Climate Challenge and to continue our commitment to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from our US manufacturing facilities.

“We’re acting now to develop a ultra-efficient, closed-loop manufacturing system, creating jobs here in the United States. And we’re sharing what we learn to help other businesses and drive to a zero-emissions transportation future that’s good for people, good for business, and good for the planet.”

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Porsche Taycan Turbo S sets new EV production record, beats Tesla MSP

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Porsche Taycan Turbo S has set a new record for the fastest production of an electric car, beating the previous record of seven minutes and 35 seconds set by Tesla Model S Plaid by a wide margin.

The automaker stated this on Wednesday, saying it went faster than Koenigsegg CCX or CCR and managed to match the Porsche 911 GT3 RS with its seven minutes and 33 seconds.

The new Nurburgring record, according to arenaev.com, is official and the car was a stock vehicle apart from the compulsory roll cage.

The weight of the car is said to be identical with a production model but the performance can be attributed to the latest Performance Kit from Porsche.

It notes that the improvement is quite magnificent – last time Taycan Turbo went around Nordschleife in seven minutes and 42 seconds.

The report says the Performance Kit will be available from December but in Germany only for now and only for the 2023 Porsche Taycan Turbo S.

With the 2023 cars being already delivered to customers, Porsche plans to offer retrofitting to existing owners, it adds.

Although it is technically road legal, the Pirelli P Zero Corsa had been really designed for track use only and Porsche suggests its customers should swap the wheel and tyre package for the standard road wheels once off the race track. This won’t affect the Performance Kit as the new software can recognize the grip levels and adjust all parameters accordingly.

The report says, “The Performance Kit doesn’t change the power output or add any new aero parts. It is simply a set of 21” RS-Spyder alloy wheels wrapped in road legal Pirelli P Zero Corsa. Those are racing tyres with a special grippy compound but have road approved thread – they aren’t slick tyres.

“Another part of the Performance Kit is the updated software for PDCC – Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. The new software takes into account the grippy tires and allows for greater acceleration through the corners and improves torque vectoring.”

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