Stallion Motors, Nigeria’s auto assembler and a franchisee of 9 global brands which includes Hyundai is planning to delve into Electric Vehicles (EV) manufacturing in Nigeria. This is coming after Jets Motor Company raised $9 million for EV technology in Nigeria, which it plans to unveil soon in partnership with GIG Motors and some other companies.
Hyundai-Kona is regarded as the best electric car products in Europe by European motoring journalists, and the Vice Chairman Haresh Vaswani sees Nigerian market as a potential as the company tries to extend its fight for cleaner energy beyond Europe. Nigeria is notorious for its use of combustible vehicles and appears unconcerned as the rest of the world pushes for cleaner energy.
But that is about to change as the two companies appear ready to change the narrative by introducing electric vehicles into the Nigerian auto space as soon as possible.
“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.
“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 hours 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 be launched in Nigeria with local manufacturing,” Vaswani said.
While many vehicle manufacturing companies are indicating interest in introducing electric vehicles into Nigerian market, the greatest challenge has been the attitude of the Nigerian government toward the development.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives warned the Federal Government to be wary of the dangers of electric vehicles, which they said it has the capability of disrupting the economy. The Lower Chamber of the National Assembly said the implications of electric vehicles should be critically evaluated since it could reduce the demand for crude oil as the trend has shown in many other countries.
The motion, titled ‘Economic Implications of the Production and Adoption of Electric Vehicles on Nigeria’ was moved by Hon. Ossy prestige and was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.
“The House notes with dismay, the bleak future for Nigeria’s oil exports as its biggest oil buyers and other major Asian and European customers are poised to do away with petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from year 2025.
“The House is informed that India, China, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom that bought a total of 24.4 million barrels of crude oil from Nigeria in May 2019, almost half of the nation’s total exports for the month, are now pushing ahead with plans to stop the use of oil-powered vehicles as part of efforts to reduce pollution and carbon emissions, a development that could spell trouble for Nigeria’s oil exports in the coming decades,” Prestige said.
According to him, the more countries embrace the trend, the more difficult Nigeria will find it to sell its oil.
The stance of the House of Representatives on EVs reveals why the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) bill is yet to be signed into law. The auto policy bill has been dragging feet on the excuse that so many parts of it need to be rectified.
But the Federal Government pledged to support the automotive industry not minding if companies are producing combustible or electric vehicles. It demonstrated commitment to the pledge in 2019 by assigning the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the University of Lagos, Usman Dan Fodio University and the Metallurgical Institute designs and tasked them to manufacture made-in Nigeria electric cars. The University of Nigeria Nsukka delivered an electric car made with 80% local content in less than a year, demonstrating the possibility of locally made EVs in Nigeria.
However, whilst it appears that the Federal Government is in full support of the automotive industry, the recent downturn in the oil market as a result of low demand and climate concerns seems to have instigated doubts in the minds of the lawmakers who have repeatedly opposed any bill that will promote electric vehicles.
But as it has been noted by ex-Senator, Ben Murray Bruce, who was forthright in pushing the rejected bill for electric vehicles in Nigeria; “the world will not wait on Nigeria to attain the cleaner energy goal, the way it’s going, Nigeria will be left behind, and will find it hard to catch up.”