BusinessDay
Nigeria's leading finance and market intelligence news report.

Hyundai Kona leads EV race into Nigeria

Climate change is for real. The changes in global temperature and weather patterns seen today are caused by human activity. They are happening much faster than the natural climate variations of the past.
World over, industries have started recognizing this and are making the switch towards sustainable means of doing business and adopting technology with less environmental impact.

Responding to the problem, therefore, auto users around the world are, speedily, replacing internal combustion engine-powered vehicles with Electric Vehicles (EVs), which generate no pollutant. Like dry season wild fire, the revolution is moving with speed.

BusinessDay was told that from all indications, before end of this year 2020, the country would officially join the rest of the world in embracing electric cars from Stallion Motors, Nigeria’s leading auto assembler and franchisee of nine global brands including Hyundai.

Recently Anant Badjatya, the company’s chief executive officer hinted of company’s plan to officially launch into the Hyundai Kona electric vehicle into Nigerian market. It is regarded by European motoring journalists as world’s number one.

“Well-meaning and concerned people globally are urgently making moves to save our dear planet,” explained Badjatya. “After operating successfully in Nigeria for over five decades, the least our company could give back to the country and by extension, the world is to be a leading pilot in steering the nation to the direction of clean energy use and reduction of emission.

According to Badjatya, “Not being dissuaded by the nation’s infrastructural challenges, one of our plans for this year is to introduce into the country Electric Vehicle (EV) and, in no distant future, embark on attitude change campaign for a clean environment in conjugation with Hyundai’’.

Versatile and powerful, the Hyundai Kona Electric will be the first All-Electric SUV in Nigeria. Its power packed performance will provide a thrilling driving experience with high acceleration over long distances.
Driving range for Kona Electric is 482 km with an acceleration of (0-100kms) in 9.7 secs. The ease of charging is unmatched as it can be plugged and charged at home or at work and cfor 9.35 hrs for a full battery capacity.

With five years of battery warranty and vehicle warranty, Kona promises to change the way people think about going electric, eve as it moves to make history as first EV to in Nigeria with local manufacturing.

While putting finishing touches to the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) for passage into law, the federal government of Nigeria, February 2019, laid bare interest in EV technology by assigning University of Nigeria, Nsuka (UNN), University of Lagos, Usman Dan Fodio University and Metrological Institute for design and production of a made-in-Nigeria electric car. In July 2019, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) announced the completion of an EV built with 80 percent local content.

Jelani Aliyu, the director-general of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), did not only commend the institution for the achievement, but also expressed President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s resolve to support any company willing to invest in local manufacturing of electric vehicles.

At an annual event of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association held recently in Lagos, Aliyu described the EV technology as good news for Nigeria. “To tap from the trend,” Aliyu explained, “We have met and discussed with both electric vehicle and charging station manufacturers in China and Germany towards the pilot program.”

It would also be recalled that Nigerian government, not long ago, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Volkswagen, Europe’s largest auto manufacturer and leading investor in electric vehicles, to produce vehicles in Nigeria.

Currently, Nigerian electricity consumers resident in accommodation categorised under R1 are charged only N4 per kilowatt. That implies, when Hyundai Kona goes on sale in Nigeria, its owner would spend only N316 (N4x79kWat) to get a full charge, if the car is plugged onto public power supply.
Apart from initial cost of purchase, EVs attract minimal running cost.  Among the global that have signed onto it includes Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, that has acquired his very first Porsche Taycan wlwctric car; the one that Stallion Group plans to launch in Nigeria soon after Hyundai Kona.

MIKE OCHONMA

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