• Sunday, December 10, 2023
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Microsoft’s hackathon to tackle challenges faced in Nigeria’s EV space

Africa E-Mobility Week to explore EV challenges and opportunities

The kickoff of the Electric Vehicle (EV) hackathon organised by Microsoft’s innovation hub, known as ‘The Garage’ will address the various challenges facing the EVs space in Nigeria.

Marisa Lago, U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade noted that the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) offers a chance to boost innovation, create quality jobs in Nigeria, and tackle climate change while lessening fossil fuel reliance. However, realising this potential requires us to recognise existing barriers hindering progress.

According to Lago, these barriers include a supportive infrastructure for EVs to become mainstream. Charging stations are essential, but a challenge arises: companies await more EV drivers, while individuals seek better charging options. This conundrum must be solved to foster EV industry growth and consumer adoption.

“The cost of EVs, which are still relatively high compared to conventional vehicles, remains another significant barrier, how this cost can be adjusted will determine the level of EVs availability in Nigeria.”

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“To attract both domestic and foreign players in the sector, it will be critical to have a supportive regulatory framework of consistent policies, standards, and regulations that are aligned with international best practices that encourage investment and innovation.’ she said.

Lago added that nurturing a skilled workforce is vital for industry expansion. With proper education and training, Nigeria can seize employment prospects in manufacturing, maintenance, and technology, becoming a regional hub and fostering sector growth.

At the Microsoft Garage event held in Lagos on August 14, 2023, participants at the event include representatives of tech companies in the EV space and leaders from Nigeria’s automotive industry who proffered solutions while recommending technological innovations in the EV sector.

They said, “From technology solutions to managing drivers’ behavior, managing a very large Internet of Things network and device for state charge, market education, and many more.”

Microsoft Garage has a long history of hosting hackathons and events where engineers are charged with solving a problem through innovation and emerging technologies.

Soromfe Uzomah, Microsoft’s principal program manager said the Hackathon will be able to identify challenges in the EVs space with opportunities for people with different solutions to come in and share those solutions.

“There is a database for the EVs space, where participants and players can go and draw up-to-date information and data on the space, he said.