I know many Nigerians are already planning on how to save that petrol money budgeted for generators. In my office in Owerri (Imo State), we have fully disconnected from the national grid, running 100% on two generators which are rotated. So, when I read the Tesla news, I had planned to call my team to stop the new generator they plan to buy in Q2, hoping that Tesla Powerpacks of Powerwalls would arrive Nigeria. It seems that is (partly) fake news! Tesla is indeed open for Nigeria but NOT coming with the people’s product. We want Powerwall, but Tesla has Powerpacks available for Nigeria.
I was among those that quoted Ventures Africa (Guardian, Vanguard, etc picked the same source) that Tesla would be setting up shop in Nigeria, selling Powerwall. In short, the report was believable as they quoted a big man in the piece. They quoted Alex Okoh, the boss of Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), who made it clear that Nigerians would have more options besides generators and DISCOs (distributing companies): “They (DisCos) lacked the capacity to improve infrastructures…TESLA’s introduction could take advantage of palpable outrage in a country where over 190 million people share barely 4,000MW of power”, the report states.
But Tesla is saying NOT FAST (on Powerwall) via a statement attributed to Anouska Ruane, Tesla’s spokesperson for EMEA, in an interview on Monday, January 21, 2019: ““We have no current plans to offer our home battery system Powerwall in Nigeria. Tesla does work with project developers and utilities internationally, including across Africa, where our commercial battery system Powerpack can help support renewable energy and improve the reliability of electricity supply, both on- and off-grid.”
Yes, Tesla is possibly coming to Nigeria but with the Powerpack and not the one we had hoped. Powerpack is for big utilities while the Powerwall is designed for homes and small offices. We want Powerwall, but Tesla has Powerpack available for Nigeria.
Largely, the original reporting was not wrong – Tesla statement and the one from Alex Okoh, the boss of Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) are both technically correct. Yet, I expect Tesla to sell Powerwall soon in Nigeria – it is evident right now that it has a market in Nigeria for Powerwall.