The deployment of electric taxis in Maiduguri has continued to excite commuters who commended the initiative and called for the employment of women to drive some of the vehicles.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that 50 electric cars and 57 mass transit buses were recently procured and deployed to ease transportation costs by the Borno Government.
The vehicles were inaugurated by President Bola Tinubu on Dec. 11, in Maiduguri.
Drivers of the electric taxis charge N100 per passenger, and run on streets where government-subsidized buses charge N50 per person.
Some commuters said it was an exciting experience using the electric vehicles, adding that it had added value to the city’s transportation system.
A resident, Amina Audu, expressed satisfaction with the services offered by the electric vehicles, urged the government to deploy more and employ female drivers for some of the cabs.
“Many of us (women) are excited with the taxis to the extent of taking selfies while taking a ride, we wish for more of them and the need to have female drivers for some of the beautiful cars,” she said.
A passenger, Ibrahim Khalifa said using the electric vehicles was very convenient and cheaper.
“They carry four passengers; one in front and three at the back and the fare is N100 per passenger. Some people in a hurry will just pay N400 or N500 for the taxi to carry one or two of them to their destinations,” he added.
Khalifa advised the agency managing the electric vehicles, Borno Express Corporation, to ensure proper maintenance of the vehicles.
Ibrahim Grema, a driver of one of the electric cars, said it needed about one and half hour for the car’s battery to get fully charged, after which one can use the vehicle for 12 hours.
“We work from six to six, and so far so good since we started in terms of patronage and car performance; at times I close work with 40 per cent charge remaining,” Grema said.
Also, two other drivers, Umar Mohammad and Mohammed Kachalla, called on the Borno express corporation to install more charging points for the vehicles, as there are only two presently.