Joining other countries in their effort to tackle air pollution on the road, Nigeria will start having electric cars this year and the first EV will be the Hyundai Kona Electric. Leading the charge is Stallion Motors, Nigeria’s leading auto franchise that sells over nine brands including Hyundai.
Stallion Motors is planning to launch the Hyundai Kona Electric before the end of 2020, as hinted by the company’s Vice-Chairman, Haresh Vaswani. Vaswani says that although Nigeria’s EV infrastructure is challenging, Stallion Motors is planning to introduce electric vehicles with long range in the country and lead the nation into clean energy and emission reduction. The company, which has over five decades of operational expertise in Nigeria, will be leading a campaign for a clean environment in association with Hyundai.
In February 2019, the federal government of Nigeria made changes to the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) to include EVs. The government has also proposed for a made-in-Nigeria electric car and assigned the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, University of Lagos, Usman Dan Fodio University and the Metallurgical Institute for Design to develop the vehicle.
The UNN announced in July 2019 that they have built an electric vehicle put together with over 80 per cent localisation. Mr Jelani Aliyu, Director General of National Automotive Design and Development Council, unveiled the car. He also expressed that the government will offer support to companies that are interested in manufacturing electric vehicles locally.
It is to be noted that the Nigerian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Volkswagen Group, that is perceived as the future world leader in electric vehicle technology with its MEB platform, in 2018 to develop an automotive hub in the country. Volkswagen has stated that it is planning to implement a phased approach for vehicle assembly and a long-term view in establishing Nigeria as an automotive hub on the west coast of Africa.
Following its launch from South Korea in 2017, the Kona Electric is now made at a second factory in Europe (Czech Republic) with batteries sourced from LG Chem in Poland. The plant which began operations this month is targeting production of 80,000 Konas in the first year.
In India, the Hyundai Kona was launched last year through the CKD route and has a sales target of 500 units in 2020. Hyundai has starting sourcing some components of the vehicle in India and is looking to go big in the EV market through the launch of an affordable electric SUV in 2022.