Promise Emmanuel, the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja on Saturday, declared that Nigeria can take the lead for Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Africa.
Emmanuel made the declaration while delivering a presentation at TEDxBudon in Lokoja on the topic: The Nigerian Automobile Industry: The future of Electric Cars.
Emmanuel who is popularly known as ‘Kogi Rebel’ with the Instagram handle, @Kogi_rebel, stated that Nigeria is a very important market where EVs can thrive.
His words: “As a country, Nigeria can take the lead for Electric Vehicles in Africa. But the market has not kickstarted because of lack of policy and regulation. Nigeria still has key structural issues that prevent the mass adoption of EVs.”
On how the government can create a suitable and holistic policy that will create the enabling environment for electric cars to be produced in the country, Emmanuel said:
“For the government to do this, there are several aspects of the Electric Vehicle Ecosystem and value chain that must be taken into consideration.
“There need to be sufficient and workable charging stations put in place before people buy EVs. Investors also need to know that there is a demand for EVs before they invest in the construction of charging stations across the country. Right now, there are too few EVs in the country to convince investors to key in.
“Another issue that can’t be overlooked is the lack of power supply. According to the US Department of Energy, most EV charging happens at home and not at the designated charging stations. So, how will Nigeria adopt the use of electric vehicles?
“Nigeria intends to adopt the fleet method of adoption of EVs, which involves individuals or businesses buying them and investing in charging stations. We have seen this with a few companies.
“This fleeting idea has been adopted by GIG logistics and delivery company, with its recent launch of an EV charging station in Gbagada, Lagos State. This fleeting system is beneficial as it will gradually encourage people to adapt to EVs before bigger investments.
“Nigerians also need answers to how much time and electricity it takes to fully charge these cars. For example, the Kona takes 10 hours to charge and has a power rating of the 7.2-kilowatt hour. This is a lot depending on the different parts of Nigeria. It can also be cheaper than fueling a petrol-powered car.
“But Nigeria has been known over the years to have a bad track record on electricity. Many areas and states can’t boast of 12 hours power supply, electricity isn’t constant and also very expensive. How then can Nigerians charge their EVs?
“For this mass adoption to be possible, there is a need for the government and investors can boost renewable energy in form of solar energy and make it affordable for people.”
He added that electric vehicles will be of great benefit to the country, saying:
“If adopted, will increase the quality of air, which in turn will improve the quality of life in Nigeria through reduced emission of Carbon monoxide gas from the exhaust pipes in cars.
“The advantage of electric vehicles will relieve the country of problems caused by fuel-powered cars including the increasing cost of petroleum.”