Following the start of tests for an electric bus in Rabat, Omar El Hyani, adviser to the Federation of the Democratic Left (FGD), which contributed to the realization of this project, explained why it has become essential for the cities of ‘to have some.
Thus, the FGD adviser puts forward, firstly, figures from the WHO (World Health Organization) which estimates that air pollution causes 4.2 million deaths each year in the world, comparing its figures with those of the Covid, which has officially caused the death of 6 million people in the world since its appearance.
According to the explanations of Omar El Hiyani, a diesel bus consumes as much fuel as 30 cars, noting that some cities are becoming very aware of this problem, especially where air pollution is devastating. He cites Shenzhen in China as an example, which has deployed 16,000 electric buses to remedy this scourge while continuing to add at one time up to 9,500 electric buses every week, i.e. the London fleet, he said.
The problem which arises on the other hand on the side of Morocco, underlines the adviser FGD, is that ” the decision-makers jump to the ceiling when they discover the price of an electric bus which costs 2 to 3 times more expensive (~6 MDH) than a diesel bus. Except it’s much easier and cheaper to operate and maintain and the technology is becoming more commonplace year after year.“, he argued.
By comparing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) (including purchase, maintenance and fuel) of different types of buses, the finding is clear, argues Omar El Hiyani, noting that for medium and large cities, the TCO of an electric bus is 10 to 25% cheaper than a diesel one.
” In Morocco, decision-makers are traumatized by an experience of electric buses: That of Marrakech. Deployed in haste during COP22, the electric bus turned out to be a fiasco at all levels (infra, technological choice, financial, etc.). They (who?) created a special company for these buses, fitted out dedicated electrified voices, with buses imported from China. Total fiasco: buses competing with those of Alsa (their employees told citizens that electric buses should be avoided, because of the risk of electrocution)“, analyzes the FGD adviser.
This is why decision makers flee when they hear about electric buses, El Hiyani said. However, technology has evolved a lot, and we cannot base ourselves on a fiasco to judge, he estimated.
The adviser thus recalls the renewal of the Rabat and Casablanca bus contracts in 2018/2019, when the decision-makers refused to include clauses to oblige the delegates to have a partially electric fleet since the urgency was elsewhere: equip quickly by bus which is understandable.
But electric buses can be a real industrial boon for Morocco, he said, noting that “ Idemand in the world is exploding, and we have good bases to start a local industry (remains that of batteries to be acquired)“.
” We have a big concern about the emission of fine particles in cities. The thresholds in Casablanca, for example, are catastrophic. In a power plant away from cities, these particles may be less dangerous (yes, that’s a bit selfish). But electric motors are more energy efficient and renewables are set to progress in our energy mix. We might as well anticipate, especially since the lifespan of a bus is 10 to 20 years. A bus bought today will probably run until 2040“, explains the adviser.