In Avengers (2012), when the Tesseract was handled by SHIELD, it was a signal to other planets and worlds that the earth was ready for a new level of war and power. That was the reason Loki and all the other bad guys came. Well, you know the rest of the story and if you don’t, this is not the article that tells you the rest.
In the same way, just this year, in April 2019, a bill that intended to stop the use of petrol cars in 2035 was sponsored by Ben Murray-Brice at the Senate.
Do not think too much of it – the bill was immediately rejected by the senate.
However, in retrospect, could this be a signal that Nigeria is ready for this invention? Are we ready for a higher level of sophistication and technology with respect to electric cars in Nigeria?
Is the dream and renew Nigerian traffic with electric cars feasible?
Well, innovation and invention have never really needed people to be ready; it has always needed someone to be more determined and radical enough to do what others could not do.
So, are we ready?
Nah, I really do not think we are. We might not seem ready for the following reason:
1. Insufficient power
Technically, the amount of electricity that is generated in the country today is out at about 4,000 Megawatts (MW), even though we have the capacity to produce up to 12,000 MW of electricity. There is a myriad of reasons why this is so, ranging from lack of political will to corruption and poor expertise. We know these things. Nigeria is hardly ever functioning at her full capacity in anything.
The first electric cars have been spotted in Nigeria but they are out of reach for most residents
If you want to begin to use Electric vehicles, then you must be ready to have good electricity, simple. In the absence of a standard, reliable source of electricity for the cars, it might be extremely difficult to have electric vehicles in Nigeria. The other option is this; if we decide that we would decide to use generators as some have advocated in the past, then those generators would use diesel or petrol to run. Now, we would be using petrol-powered generators to charge electric cars!
The question is, why not buy petrol cars in the first place? We also know that the amount of current needed to charge the vehicles would require a generator with a big size. So, with the current situation of unstable power supply, the dream of electric cars in Nigeria is very well limited.
>>> This should be considered when it comes to using electric cars: Cost of running electric car in Nigeria
It is no news that what drives the Nigerian economy is Petrol. Several people have become billionaires because of the presence of oil in the country. Of course, there is a huge market locally for petrol and diesel among motorists in the country. This is in addition to the huge amount that is realized from the foreign export of crude oil, although it is quite unfortunate that Nigeria cannot refine her own crude oil. Now, a shut down on the price of petrol cars would affect the business badly for the oil lords.
A turn to electric vehicles will be difficult due to the impediments by the big names behind the oil industry
Some of these people have become principalities and powers in the Nigerian economy and really have a say in what happens in the country. It is, therefore, very unlikely that they would allow the advent of electric cars - a potential threat to the millions that they accrue from the sale of oil.
The statistics show that Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world with about half of its population living in poverty and unemployment. One of the cheapest electric cars in 2019, the 2019 Smart EQ Fortwo is priced at about $26,000 (about 9 million nairas). Technically, this amount is just a dream for more than three-quarters of the population. It is therefore not a feasible thought to entertain most people in the country.
Most Nigerians would prefer to buy a cheap Toyota corolla which is very common and then struggle to fuel it than even imagine owning an electric car.
It won't be feasible to actualize the use of electric vehicles as the average income in Nigeria is still very low
That said, does it mean that there is no ray of hope for Nigeria as regards the electric car?
Well, maybe not glaring, but there is.
4. Our opinion
In the last 2 decades, there has been a lot of advancement globally. Just 12 years ago, Innoson Motors started operations in Nigeria, producing Nigeria’s first wholly indigenous automobiles. In the last decade, they have stepped their game up to produce cars that can compete with the Tokunbo market of foreign brands. They have also enjoyed the patronage of other African neighboring countries.
The point is that when it comes to innovation, it takes someone extremely radical and determined to get things done; in Naija lingo, a productive marlian! Therefore, we would not write Nigeria off, because we cannot predict the tide in the next ten to twenty years.
Yes, right now, as a nation, we are not ready for such a leap as we do not have the environment, resources and political will power to actualize it. However, it is highly commendable that at least a senator deemed it fit to raise it at the level of the senate. Perhaps, some of them are actually looking at other countries and learning from them.
Tesla is changing the world's awareness of using vehicles
Meanwhile, Tesla is thinking little about Nigeria.
Tesla recently launched a new model all-new electric pickup truck, the cyber truck at $40,000. The truck was built to help Tesla break into the pickup market which has been dominated by petrol-driven cars, majorly from Ford and other big brands over the years.
The lowest variant boasts of a decent 0 – 60mph in 6.5 seconds and has the ability to travel at more than 250 miles between charges. These specs are higher in senior variants of the trucks which would have more motors and in turn more speed, towing capacity, and of course, higher prices.
Elon Musk is keen on changing the world with his cars. His belief is that whatever petrol cars can do, electric cars can do… better.
This senator is a strong advocate of electric cars in Nigeria
Well, in some aspects, it is very true, because Tesla cars come with plenty of techs; boy, the cars have breathtaking tech that would always awe drivers into demanding for the next. Then it also boasts of regular updates to existing models.
Of course, it would be very easy.
Now, also focusing on extra safety and speed, the luxury brand is indeed stretching limits.
While all this is going on, as Nigerians would always ask, when we need to make critical decisions, Naija, which way?