CLIMATE change is for real. The changes in global temperature and weather patterns seen today are caused by human activity. They are happening much faster than the natural climate variations of the past. World over, industries have started recognizing this and are making the switch towards sustainable means of doing business and adopting technology with less environmental impact.
Responding to the problem, therefore, auto users around the world are, speedily, replacing internal combustion engine-powered vehicles with Electric Vehicles, EVs, which generate no pollutants. Like dry season wild fire, the revolution is moving with speed.
And from all indications, before the year 2020 runs out, Nigeria will officially join the rest of the world in embracing electric cars, courtesy of Stallion Motors, Nigeria’s leading auto assembler and franchisee of 9 Global brands including Hyundai.
Recently, the company’s group CEO Mr. Anant Badjatya, hinted of his company’s plan to officially launch into the Nigerian market Hyundai – Kona, an Electric car regarded by European motoring journalists as world’s number one.
He said: “Well-meaning and concerned people globally are urgently making moves to save our dear planet. After operating successfully in Nigeria for over five decades, the least our company could give back to the country and by extension, the world is to be a leading pilot in steering the nation to the direction of clean energy use and reduction of emission.
“Not being dissuaded by the nation’s infrastructural challenges, one of our plans for this year is to introduce into the country Electric Vehicle, EV, and, in no distant future, embark on attitude change campaign for a clean environment in conjunction with Hyundai.
“Versatile and powerful, the Hyundai KONA Electric will be the first All-Electric SUV in Nigeria. Its power packed performance will provide a thrilling driving experience with high acceleration over long distances. Driving range for Kona Electric is 482 km with an acceleration of (0-100kms) in 9.7 secs. The ease of charging is unmatched, one can even plug it in at home or at work and charge it for 9.35 hrs for a full battery capacity. Hyundai Kona comes with five years of battery warranty and five years of vehicle warranty. KONA Electric will change the way people think about going electric. It would make history as first EV to in Nigeria with local manufacturing.”
Is Nigeria Ready?
While putting finishing touches to the National Automotive Industry Development Plan, NAIDP, for passage into law, the Federal Government in February 2019, laid bare interest in EV technology by assigning the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN; University of Lagos, Usman Dan Fodio University and the Metallurgical Institute for design and production of a made-in-Nigeria electric car.
Less than a year after (July 2019), UNN announced completion of an EV put together with 80 per cent local content. Representing the Federal Government at the unveiling ceremony of the car, the Director General of National Automotive Design and Development Council, Mr. Jelani Aliyu, did not only commend the institution for the achievement, but also expressed President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s resolve to support any company willing to invest in local manufacturing of electric vehicles.
Also in his keynote address at an annual event of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association held in Lagos, Aliyu described the EV technology as good news for Nigeria.
Aliyu explained: “To tap from the trend, we have met and discussed with both electric vehicle and charging station manufacturers in China and Germany towards the pilot programme.”
It would also be recalled that Nigerian government, not long ago, signed an MOU with Volkswagen, Europe’s largest auto manufacturer and leading investor electric vehicles, to produce vehicles in Nigeria.
Apart from initial cost of purchase, EVs attract minimal running cost. For instance, Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, has reportedly acquired his very first electric car, which happens to be Porsche Taycan, the one that Stallion Group plans to launch in Nigeria soon after Hyundai Kona.
Currently, Nigerian electricity consumers resident in accommodation categorised under R1 are charged only N4 per kilowatt. That implies, when Hyundai Kona goes on sale in Nigeria, its owner would incur only N316 (N4x79kWat) to get a full charge, if he or she plugs the car onto public power supply.
When Stallion Group eventually fulfils its plan in the next two months, Hyundai Kona, which around the world is already being rated above its counterparts, in terms of performance, would make history as first EV to officially go on sale in Nigeria with local manufacturing.
And without doubt, if the world trend is talk and love for fast, powerful and easier-to-maintain automobiles that are fit for a green planet, Nigerians are ready and itching to join. And courtesy of Stallion Group, year 2020 could be the beginning.