Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara and Bollore Group President Vincent Bollore for the first time in Africa inaugurated Blue Solutions, the first autonomous electric bus line at the University Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan. The new means of transport that relies on 100 per cent electricity is expected to see the costs of fuel drop, reduce air pollution while it signifies advancement in technology, despite its high cost.
“It’s not the project cost, which amounted to 1.2 billion CFA francs (€1.8 million) entirely financed by the Bolloré Group, that is significant here but rather the confidence being shown in the Côte d’Ivoire by introducing at this point in time such advanced technology” noted Ouattara in an interview.
The launch of the new bus line comes at a time when the pump price for diesel fuel in Cote d’Ivoire was last reported at $1.30 USD according to a 2012 World Bank report. While means of transport including cars, trucks, buses, ships and trains account for 90 per cent of the cancer risk associated with air pollution, Blue Solutions claims to solve energy challenges facing Africa
Reports say health impacts from diesel pollution exposure, such as premature death, heart disease, asthma and bronchitis, recently cost at least $22 billion USD worldwide, not including impacts such as lost work and school days. Nevertheless, Bolloré Group has rolled out a seemingly innovative and reliable solution to develop clean transport services along with smart energy management through the development of a unique technology “LMP”, which, through its mobile and stationary applications is able to meet the major energy challenges.
Moreover, the Bolloré Group has chosen Côte d’Ivoire to inaugurate with great zeal some of Blue Solutions’ array of applications. The Group has offered the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan its first BlueBus network equipped with state of the art electric batteries. Also constructed within the university complex is a solar powered building fitted with these batteries and supplied exclusively by photovoltaic panels, say reports.
According to Vincent Bolloré , this new solution serves to ease trip-making throughout the campus. It combines the development of an electric bus network, with the installation of photovoltaic panels and the option of LMP batteries for storing solar energy.
This bus network, he says, will not only provide students and faculty with a higher-quality work environment, but also improves environmental protection by considerably limiting CO2 emissions – known to contribute to global warming.
For its African development efforts, Blue Solutions benefits from the Bolloré Africa Logistics Group, one of the continent’s most extensive integrated logistics network and leading operator of both port and rail public-private partnerships. As the new system of transport gains following, it is expected to travel to other parts of the continent, keen on witnessing advancement in technology while reducing fuel costs and air pollution.