Nigerians react as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo test drives locally assembled electric car
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has test driven the Hyundai Kona, the latest electric car locally assembled in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Vice President test drove the car during an exhibition tour of made-in-Nigeria products at the opening ceremony of a 5-day Nigeria at 60 Exposition held at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
A very good drive; fantastic; it just shows what is possible. I am glad to see that this is an assembled in Nigeria electric car. You can literally charge it anywhere; I think it is a very fantastic innovation; fantastic product, and I can tell because I drove it.Prof Yemi Osinbajo
This follows the official launch of the Hyundai Kona in November 2020. Produced by Stallion motors, the electric vehicle (EV) was then commissioned in Abuja by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu, in February 2021.
NOT Nigeria’s first locally assembled EV
Contrary to widespread reports in local media, the Hyundai Kona is not the first electric vehicle (EV) locally assembled in Nigeria.
Nigerian automobile manufacturing company, JET Motors deployed the country’s first all-electric vehicle – the JET Mover in 2020. Some units of the electric minibus were also procured by leading mobility startup, GIGM as an early adopter, making it one of the first to live-test the vehicle.
While a few people lauded the government for unveiling the locally-assembled Hyundai Kona EV, the vast majority of Nigerians are clearly not impressed.
Many people criticised authorities for celebrating the event, stating that Nigeria should already be manufacturing its own electric vehicles, not assembling parts imported from other countries.
“Assembled, not manufactured. Shame suppose dey catch you guys small,” said Nelson on Twitter. Corroborating his sentiment, another user described the news as no big deal.
Some other people pointed out that Nigeria’s epileptic power supply should be rather prioritised by the government.
Na who get better power bank go drive this kind car. Nigeria is in total darkness and you get mind dey buy electric car ok ooh remember to power bank for charging itA Twitter user
Currently, there is a very low demand for locally produced vehicles in the country and EVs might suffer the same fate. Hardly do you go out and see a road user driving an Innoson vehicle, which is locally assembled but not electric.
There’s also barely a notable presence of EV charging stations in Nigeria, which disincentivises EV production.
Nigeria’s annual locally produced vehicles, which currently stands at 14,000, pales in comparison to the overall vehicle demand of 720,000.
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