On Friday, November 13, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State launched Nigeria’s first locally-assembled full electric car, the Hyundai Kona EV.
The locally-made EV, Hyundai Kona, is purely electric and comes with zero-emission with a 482km driving range that allows it to run for 9 hours 35 mins.
Leading the electric EV into the market is Nigeria’s leading franchisee and representative of nine global brands, Stallion Motors.
Speaking at the event, Sanwo-Olu said that “This is 21st Century technology that has been brought into our country.
“The future we hope to see is the future is the future of technology, and this is the technology that we are talking about.”
However, the innovation has raised many questions amongst Nigerians.
How an electric car works
EVs use electricity stored in a battery pack to power an electric motor and turn the wheels.
The car draws electricity from and stores it in a battery pack; instead of a gas tank, they have batteries.
The batteries are charged either from a wall socket or a dedicated charging unit when depleted.
Modern EVs can accept at least 240-volt, Level 2 charging speeds.
This adds about 25 miles of range per hour of charging to the battery pack.
Stallion VON Motors, Nigeria representative for many brands like Honda, Nissan had been planning the launch since march this year.
It announced its plan to launch in June, however, due to unstated reasons, presuming the pandemic, the launch didn’t hold.
According to Arpita Roy Luthra, General Manager, Marketing, Stallion Group Motors, the technology is simple and customer friendly.
He also mentioned that the car could be charged by plugging it into electricity at home or work.
“KONA Electric will change the way people think about going electric. It would make history as the first EV in Nigeria with local manufacturing,” Arpita added.
He also mentioned that people will incur only N316 (N4x79kWat) for a full charge using electricity.
In addition to these, he says the company is ready to provide all that Nigerian needs to join mobile trends. and also ensure an ecofriendly
“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, the year 2020 could be the beginning.”
More questions than answers
Sanwo-Olu spoke on partnering with companies like Ibile Oil and Gas and other private organisations to make provision for charging port all over the state.
Managing Director the Stallion Group, Rohtagi Manish said that the vehicle, when fully charged for 9hrs 35mins, can go a distance of 482km (equivalent of Lagos to Warri) before it requires another charging.
For a state like Lagos, and its never-ending traffic situation, this might look like a tall task.
To highlight how bad the traffic situation is, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Ferry Services (LAGFERRY), AbdoulBaq Ladi Balogun, recently said that waterway transportation is the only solution to the gridlock in Lagos.
Beyond the issue of gridlock, the epileptic power situation is another hiccup.
Minister of Power, Engineer Sale Mamman, recently disclosed that Nigeria’s power generation capacity has grown from 8,000mw to 13,000mw.
Despite this claim, Nigerians in most parts of the country still rely on generators as the source of power.
This reveals the widening gap between generation and distribution.
In some cases, there have been numerous occasions when a large part of the country is thrown into darkness following the collapse of the national grid.
Speaking on charging the car at work or home, will Nigerians, who are presently groaning about the increase in electricity tariff, plug into prepaid or post-paid electricity plans?
Reactions from Nigerians
Mixed reactions have trailed the launch of the electric car. Below are some:
Fam! We have the First Electric Car in Nigeria by @hyundaimotorsnigeria in Lagos and it is called #HyundaiKona This is good news for the environment as it reduces air pollution and it is bye bye to petrol/diesel scarcity or hike in price. The Future is here#HyundaiElectricCar pic.twitter.com/1l8YP3zGKQ
— Cinderella Man (@Osi_Suave) November 13, 2020
— 𝕺𝖑𝖆𝖒𝖎💨 (@_therealola) November 13, 2020
Shouldn't we have steady supply of electricity first – just asking for a friend. https://t.co/PnEjJCrqU3
— Gesare Chife (@gechife) November 14, 2020
I heard governor @jidesanwoolu unveiled an electric car today. Me I have a qwesion With the bad roads and potholes se if I enter pothole with the electric car se e no go shock me? If the hole come get water nko? #HyundaiElectricCar
— Adeolu Adeyinka (@adeoluadeyinka) November 13, 2020
Electric car inside city wey no get electricity.
— mayowa. (@Wana____) November 13, 2020