Electricity vehicles in Nigeria, real climate action or mere hype?

The Nigeria Automotive Design And Development Council NADDC, in embracing current innovation in energy mobility towards renewable and sustainable energy sources, recently launched Nigeria’s  first solar powered electric car charging station in Sokoto state in partnership with Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto.

NADDC disclosed that the installed solar arrays (panels) in the Sokoto Station have a capacity of 86.4 kilowatts per hour and coupled to three online-offline Hybrid Inverters, each one being 5KVA which has been  synchronized to give a combined output of 15 KVA/48 WATTS. 

The argument is to make charging stations readily available for Nigerians who would want to import such cars and the sun-hour in Sokoto is an ideal site for this pilot test. 

Over the weekend, Ben Murray Bruce founder of Silverbird group and former Senator who represented Bayelsa East Constituency tweeted that he ” recently put a deposit on a yet to be manufactured Lucid Electric Car. Delivery is early next year. It’s capable of more miles per charge than a Tesla. An amazing machine. Nigeria should ban all combustion Engine cars by 2035. 

#ClimateAction

These are great steps in a great direction. In saving the planet earth, the United Nations recommend electric cars to be used because they give zero direct emissions, which specifically helps improve air quality in urban areas.

Nigerians are actually not idle on the sidelines of the Electric Vehicle ,No Emission revolution. For instance, Chevrolet Bolt (N13million), Smart Fortwo Electric Drive (N8million) and BMW i3 ( ₦15 million) are among the list of strong electric cars available for purchase in Nigeria. 

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Though this is a welcome development as Nigeria joins the world in taking decisive Climate action. But are we ready for the EV Revolution. Is it asking too much telling Nigerians to embrace electric cars or would this turn out to be the famous Nigerian Vision 20-2020 talk?

One of the problems why there may be low adoption of electric cars in Nigeria would be lack of technical know how for maintenance and spare parts. If Nigerians know that they can easily find  local ‘mechanics’ for their electric vehicles, they will wholly embrace it.

No one wants to buy a car that when it develops problems on the  Nigerian highway would have to wait till a specialist outfit has the time to come and pick up his car for repairs. The typical Nigerian want something that a good mechanic can give him some comfort  to get him moving again.

Shifting attention to deepening knowledge and skills in getting affordable and readily accessible mechanics for these EVs should be a goal.

The roads

Would these Electric vehicles be built to stand the rough roads in Nigeria? The ditches and potholes combustion vehicles survive may not be suitable for EVs. Bad roads mean drivers and cars spend more time on the road. How long would an electric vehicle survive ,for instance, a typical day-to-day  Lagos traffic before it drains out power ? Or How long would the ordinary Nigerian have to wait for government to rehabilitate all roads in Nigeria before they purchase Electric cars?

The charging stations would have to be spread throughout the country in strategic yet accessible locations. For home charging at the recent government approved electricity tariff, it would be financially suicidal for the average Nigerian to maintain an electric vehicle.

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So, it’s apt to ask : Electricity Vehicles in Nigeria- Real Climate Action or Mere Hype?

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