1. Overview of electric cars in Nigeria
Owning an electric car in Nigeria is almost a combination of luxury and necessity. Even after the electric car bill by Senator Ben Murray Bruce was not approved, the trend of having an electric car has not gone down at all. But have you wondered what the cost of running an electric car in Nigeria would be like?
The Tesla-Model cars are standard for most electric car makers and it is not so expensive to run (Photo Credit: Pcketint)
You already know how epileptic the power supply in the country is. Regardless, there are those who damn all consequences and still purchase an EV. You would find a Tesla or a Kia Soul on the streets of Lagos and Abuja, and wonder how they stay running. This naijauto article will give you a break down of how it works.
2. The electric car MPG rating - KwH per 100 miles
Regular gasoline cars use the mpg or miles per gallon rating to measure how much distance their vehicle can cover on amount of fuel put in the car. This is different from the electric car, as it uses the kilowatts per hour per 100 miles rating. This is why, when you think of efficiency, the measurements for plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars will be quite different. So if you wish to find out how much it will take for you to charge your electric car at home, simply take the rate of electricity for the period of the day that you charge your car the most, then multiply it by the kilowatts hour per every 100 miles. This will give you the exact cost per distance which you can split little by little to determine what you consume for a given distance.
3. Cost of charging your electric vehicle
In the US, China and other developed countries, there are public charging centers where electric car owners can go to charge their cars. They don't have to spend so much on energy. This isn't the case in Nigeria so you'll have to make your own provisions. The price of fuel in Nigeria is about ₦145 and depending on your vehicle, you might need ₦7,000 fuel to fill your tank to travel from Lagos to Benin for instance. The cost of a kilowatts per hour in Nigeria is about 3-5 naira. This means if you drive an average car, it will use about 240 volts - which is just about 19 kilowatts per hour. So, ₦4 multiplied by 19 which is 76 naira. If it takes 7 hours to charge your car fully, you'll spend less than ₦700 on charging.
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This goes to show that the cost of charging an electric car is less than 10% of what you'll spend using gasoline. This charge lasts for about an hour. But then this cost is what is published by the electricity company. However, if they ever discover that you own an electric car, expect the bills to skyrocket. Also, keep in mind that the cost of electricity for commercial use (excessive use) is different from that for a small household. But from the average calculations, you'll likely spend less than a thousand naira charging a Tesla, Kia Soul, Chevrolet Bolt or Nissan Leaf.
4. Cost of maintenance
4.1. Charger price
Considering the cost of maintaining the electric car, let's look at the cost of installing the charger and also purchasing parts when they go bad. There's a standard charging board that costs about ₦200,000.
4.2. Cost of batteries
There are also different types of batteries you can use depending on the capacity of your vehicle and specifications. The batteries cost between ₦70,000 to ₦300,000. Since these cars are not produced in Nigeria, it's only wise that you consider the cost of importing the battery. This is also true for the other parts inside the vehicle and the engine. You can easily replace the tires or other basic parts with spares sold within Nigeria.
4.3. Updating software
Finally on the cost of running an electric car in Nigeria, also note that installing the charging board or updating software can't be done by any random electrician or car mechanic. This is not to put fear into you but rather to prepare you for the task ahead so you can plan with a better budget.
4.4. Making sure your electricity supply is constant
If you also live in a place of low or poor power supply, also try to ensure that you have a good running solar system or electricity generating set that can serve as back up for when the electricity provider doesn't live up to expectations.
4.5. Buying spare parts
As for spare parts, they'll definitely be made more available when more people buy an EV. Currently, they are not so readily available as parts of conventional cars. Perhaps when an electric car assembly plant starts in Nigeria, it can make the cost of maintaining much cheaper. But until then...