If you ask me why there are a few electric cars in the whole of Africa, I’ll tell you it’s because of “madaGASCAR“. EVs (Electric Vehicles) are the modern evolution of the automobile industry. Guess what? They are here to stay!
Who wouldn’t like to cruise a car with little or no engine noise or a car that could self-drive? These cars are cheaper to run, maintain, and obviously has health and safety benefits.
In April 2019, Ben Murray-Bruce, a former congressman in Nigeria, introduced a bill aimed at scrapping off petroleum / diesel-powered vehicles by 2035 and replacing them on the long-run with EVs. The bill was dismissed because the Senate felt it was insignificant, and because we have plenty of OIL.
According to the congressman, the reasons for proposing the bill are:
“Combustion engine cars have continued to cause deaths through uncontrolled pollution”
“Secondly, we have been spending over N1 trillion annually subsidising fuel in this country”
“By introducing electric cars, fuel subsidies will automatically be phased out and those funds will be used for infrastructure and education”
He also stated that he owns an electric car and he has been using it for the past five years and it is also cheaper to maintain and durable enough for Nigerian roads, that the fears put forward by his colleagues are highly debatable.
The Congressman was right, to say these intriguing facts. I think we have very few visionary senatorial leaders.
OIL ‘s price has plummeted from about $50 per barrel to a negative price of -$25 due to the Coronavirus. We don’t have OIL reserves.
If fortunately enough the bill is passed again and gets signed into law, where do we get constant electricity? The cost of electricity is really high in Nigeria. With great power comes a huge electricity bill.
If the bill is eventually signed into law, only the reduction in the price of power will foster the evolution of EVs in Nigeria.
Well, the Senate said that if you have the purchasing power to buy an EV, then you have the freedom to buy one. Just keep in mind that you would have 99 problems with recharging, but selling it off won’t be one.
The advantages of EVs are the reason why oversea countries are now leveraging them for transport. Electricity is not only found in automobiles in the overseas. They are also used in buses, trains, and planes. Electricity, therefore, has an enormous impact on the core transportation system in oversea countries.
Some of the benefits of EVs are
- Reduction and elimination of fuel costs
- Decreased amount of vehicle emissions to help the environment
- People becoming energy independent
- Safe driving
- Low Maintainance
- Reduced noise pollution
- High-quality performance
Tesla, Jaguar, BMW, Nissan, Chevrolet, Ford, Volkswagen and Kia are the biggest producers of electric cars. Other manufacturers in China are SAIC, FAW, Dongfeng, Chana, BAIC, GAC, Chery, BYD and Geely. Elon Musk’s Tesla is the largest and most innovative manufacturer. The current Tesla car lines (Model S, Model X, Model 3) vary in cost from $35,000 to $124,000 (N13.6M – N48.3M) before tax incentives.
Sadly, these leading manufacturers do not sell their EVs anywhere in Africa. Only a few Chinese companies are selling their EVs in Africa. But countries like South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Rwanda have started to leverage their transport systems on electricity. That’s a big win for the evolution in these African countries, but not for Nigeria.
China is by far the largest electric car market in the world today. You can purchase an electric car in China as little as N3.2M. Well, you’ll get a neatly used Toyota Camry or Corolla for that price.
In 2025, Apple plans to start manufacturing electric cars. I am just wondering if the car will have windows or what do you think?
Nigeria has been left behind in the race for EVs. Other African countries have joined the race and are making excessive progress. The fact that we have excess OIL does not mean that we should leverage our transportation system on petroleum consumption engines.
The big step the Nigerian government needs to take in making electric cars work is to ensure there is consistent power supply every in the country. The government also needs to raise the standard of living of an average citizen so they can be able to afford an EV.
Nigeria also needs to take the challenge of contributing to the reduction of global warming and climate change by reducing the use of emission cars in the coming years. Hybrid cars seem good, but let us not dispute that they are still operating on petroleum and diesel essentially. It will continue to stimulate and enhance global warming and climate change.
We need to make the world greener. Earth needs to be a better place for living. The first phase for this is to reduce emissions from cars by promoting the use of EVs. All other measures such as recycling could come next.
With the look of things, it would take about 30 years from now before EVs could run successfully in Nigeria. The point is, the future is incredibly vague and now we need to begin to take responsibilities for the future. As a nation, we need to do more and pursue the trend of a better automobile sector so we will not be left behind in the race of technology.
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