Nigerian oil production and marketing companies have been advised to take advantage of the nation’s imminent Electric Vehicle revolution by setting up charging stations across the country.
The immediate past Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Engr. Aminu Jalal gave the advice recently in a telephone interview with Motoring World.
In his view, a major factor hindering the popularity and feasibility of EV manufacturing and sales in Nigeria is lack of power supply.
“No doubt,” Jalal averred, “Electric Vehicles are the future, maybe in the next five years. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of brand new vehicles, Nigerians still have a strong taste for imported used vehicles.
“And EVs, which at the moment are dearer, maybe further out of their reach. For instance, presently, the difference between Volkswagen Golf and E-Golf Electric is $5000.
“Notwithstanding, smart investors should have observed that prices of Electric vehicles are gradually coming down. As you hinted, if truly Nigerian auto companies can afford to introduce EVs into the country, sales would be low initially, but, for the country, such development would be like small but permanent positive steps.
“Secondly, because of its several advantages over the conventional gas-powered vehicles, EVs will start attracting patronage, especially from the rich. And as EV prices drop, their popularity is bound to soar in Nigeria, for obvious reasons: It is easier to maintain, as it comes with far less moving parts.
Engr. Aminu Jalal, former Director-General, NADDC
“It would even be more feasible for fleet and commercial vehicle operating companies. They could acquire EVs and set up charging points at their parks, charge their buses overnight or after each trip.
“For the likes of Shell, Total and other oil companies operating in Nigeria, it would be a wise investment and timely for them to, like gas filling stations, start setting up charging points across the country so that present and future owners of EVs could have the facility to plug in, charge their vehicles and pay with credit cards.”
In line with Jalal’s advice, EVs are not only already being introduced into the country, certain Nigerian companies are already working on plans to set up EV charging points across the country, just as the Nigerian government is also making moves to attract investment into this clean automotive industrial sector.
For instance, Motoring World reported recently that a Nigerian automobile marketing company, Just Commercial vehicles limited, in February 2020, launched first electricity-powered commercial vehicle into the Nigerian market.
In the same vein, the Director-general of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Aliyu Jelani, gave an indication that Europe’s largest auto manufacturer, Volkswagen could in near future start manufacturing EVs in Nigeria.
Jelani’s optimism is hinged on an MOU, which NADDC recently signed with the German automaker, a company, he stressed, is very serious about electric vehicles.
He said: “As we position ourselves to provide the best for Nigerians, that’s the type of partnership we need for our nation. Volkswagen has just started producing cars in Rwanda, and our intention is for them to do it on an even larger scale here in Nigeria”.
Moreover, less than two years ago, PSC Solar UK, research and development arm of PSC Industries Limited, a Lagos, Nigeria-based solar electricity and renewable energy total solutions manufacturer, revealed a plan to introduce Electric Vehicles charging stations in Nigeria.
And Motoring World reliably gathered that one or two Nigerian companies are planning to, within the next two years, set up an EV manufacturing plant in the country.
If such plans are anything to go by, the former NADDC DG’s advice to the nation’s oil companies could as well be timely advice to invest in what would gradually replace the current petrol and diesel filling stations in Nigeria.