Electric Cars in Nigeria: Can or Can't, Hyundai Kona EV is the Answer

Jan 21, 2021

Posted by: 234DRIVE x NAIJAUTO.COM

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Electric Cars in Nigeria

What are electric cars? Electric cars are cars that don't use any form of fuel but rely solely on electricity. We can read your mind; you just said "electricity that we don't have in Nigeria" but we are proving you wrong today.

Let us talk about a little history of electric cars and its potentials in Nigeria.

Background of electric cars in Nigeria

The idea of electric vehicles or zero-emnission vehicles is not for a car to rely totally on electricity but for a car to rely on a 'sustainable' form of energy to power itself. "Sustainable" here means a form of energy that we can easily afford to maintain.

What if we told you that electric vehicles are as old as petrol/diesel engine cars? Well, it's true. The toy cars you played with as a child were powered by batteries. That is a perfect example of an electric vehicle.

The problem electric cars always had was a source of energy that could make it run for as long as a petrol/diesel engine will run with the same amount of fuel. It looks like all that problem has been solved and all thanks go to Tesla for making the world realise that fully electric cars can be possible.

In Nigeria till date, Innoson and Nord are the only automobile companies we have and neither of them has been able to go mainstream in the Nigerian automobile market yet and none of them produces electric cars. This means we have no electric car manufacturer and maybe this is why we think it is impossible for an electric car to survive in Nigeria.

tesla-model-x-driving-in-nigeria

The first Tesla ever spotted in Nigeria 

What electric cars are presently available in Nigeria?

Presently, there are about 8 Teslas in Nigeria, a few BMW i3s, 3 BMW i8, a couple of Honda Clarities, Chevrolet Volts, Nissan Leaf and now, the Hyundai Kona EV. 

So far, we have not spotted any of these cars crying for help by the side of the road because their battery ran flat and this is indeed a sign that electric vehicles are indeed working well in Nigeria. 

Challenges that every electric car faces in Nigeria

The challenges of electric cars in Nigeria can easily be pointed out when you observe how cars like Tesla operate in the USA. These challenges are highlighted below:

  • A high rate of unpredictable gridlock aka hold-up/traffic on our major roads 

  • An unstable electric power supply in the country 

  • Absence of good road network all around the country 

  • Absence of fast charging stations along inter-state roads for long-distance drives 

  • Lack of qualified automobile technicians to service and maintain electric cars 

Can you try to imagine what will happen in Nigeria when every car company decides to go electric? In one of our previous posts, we have provided you with the information on the 5 upcoming Toyota electric cars to be released in 5 years. Let's see if this will go into reality.

Hyundai Kona EV: the first all-electric car to be assembled in Nigeria

We often talk about electric cars in Nigeria being possible or impossible on this platform but today, the gist is totally different. For the first time ever in the history of Nigeria, an electric car fully assembled in Nigeria is now available to Nigerians. 

Until 2020, there was no Nigerian car dealership selling electric cars because Nigerians haven't come to terms with accepting the idea of electric cars wholeheartedly. This is understandable because as we know, electric cars would face a lot of challenges in Nigeria.

We visited Stallion's Hyundai Dealership on the Victoria Island area of Lagos to talk to Hyundai representatives in Nigeria and also come out with this Hyundai Kona EV review.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-front-view

This is the Hyundai Kona EV, the first-ever electric car to be locally made in Nigeria.

Hyundai Kona EV: Introduction

Hyundai penetrated the Nigerian market as far back as 2007 after Kia and many did not know then that Kia and Hyundai are managed by the same body because their designs were different.

Hyundai today is a car brand that has built a solid reputation as an automaker which produces reliable and affordable brand-new cars in  Nigeria where 80% of the cars on the road are bought as locally used. This is why a lot of Nigerian companies purchase Hyundai cars for their fleets and staffs.

Since 2014, Stallion Motors has been assembling Hyundai cars locally in Nigeria to make brand new cars cheaper, provide employment and make the economy of Nigeria better. As we speak, Stallion motors assemble all the Hyundai cars it sells in Nigeria and this includes the Hyundai Kona EV.

The fact that an electric car with up-to-date automotive technologies is being assembled locally just tells us that this cute looking compact SUV is built to survive in Nigeria.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-side-view

You can even go and test drive for yourself before you buy 

Now, let us get into the Hyundai Kona EV review.

Hyundai Kona EV: Exterior, Interior and Motors

The exterior, design, features and dimensions

The Hyundai Kona EV takes a more futuristic shape of the regular Kona EV and makes it more fun to look at. The first thing you notice is the very thin headlamps that make the car look like it is squinting its eyes.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-front-view

The design looks very futuristic

You can see that there is an absence of grilles and the charging port door is located just below the front Hyundai logo on the left-hand side. To access the charging portal you just push the flap in while the car is unlocked. 

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-charging-port

Charging from the front makes you monitor charging better

This is a compact SUV and you can tell from its small-sized structure. There is a floating roof design that makes the Kona EV have a two-tone paint-job with glossy black for the top half. Then there is a plastic styling for the wheel arches, lower parts of the front and rear bumpers.

hyundai-kona-ev-side-profile

Take a second look at this beauty!

We would have loved if the wheels weren't plastic though. It makes the wheel styling look cheap.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-wheels

What do you think about the wheels?

The external dimensions of the Hyundai Kona EV are as follows :

  • Length - 4180mm
  • Width - 1570mm
  • Height - 1570mm
  • Wheelbase - 2600mm

The Kona EV is more of a subcompact SUV as it does not match up with cars like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V in dimensions. Remember it is electric, every weight needs to be saved so that it won't be heavy.

The interior, Comfort and Cargo

The Hyundai Kona EV interior immediately lets us know that it is made from quality materials that would stand the test of time. A finely arranged centre console and centre stack with a secretive area for keeping stuff in between the two front seats are available.

The A/C system in the Kona EV is very effective even in the hot Nigerian sun. 

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-interior-view-from-door

The interior is upscale in terms of quality

The rear seat is tight for full-grown adults and the trunk cargo area is also small compared to the compact SUV cargo area sizes we are used to. The Kona EV will seat 5 people but depending on how tall they are, the rear seaters might have leg cramps on long journeys

Thankfully, Hyundai assigned the front engine bay to accommodate all the 'electric car' components of this car unlike other electric cars with batteries located in the trunk area.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-trunk-cargo-space

Not as bad as you imagined, right?

Infotainment and Connectivity

All versions of the Kona EV come pre-installed with a touchscreen system that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.  The display is crispy and is very easy to use with button assists.

The Kona EV comes in three trim levels; the SEL, the Limited and the Ultimate trim level.

The SEL comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen while the Limited comes with an 8.0-inch screen and the top-spec Ultimate trim comes with a 10.7-inch touch screen.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-infotainment

Here is a 7-inch infotainment screen

A 6-speaker audio system is standard while the Limited and Ultimate have an 8-speaker audio system.

Safety and Driver-Assist features

Blind-spot monitoring and the emergency braking are standard on the Kona EV while adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection technology are only offered in the Ultimate model. 

Other safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning

  • Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist

  • Adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection

Engine, Transmission and Performance

A 201-hp electric motor serves as the Hyundai Kona EV engine and it powers the front wheels only as there is no all-wheel-drive option. This electric motor is powered by a 64.0-kWh battery that helps the Hyundai Kona EV achieve the 0 to 60 acceleration time of 6.4 seconds.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-engine-bay

Here is the awesome electric power train

It is very smooth to drive on highways as you speed because of the way the battery is planted in a way that balances the car perfectly. There is a traditional engine bay in front where the battery and the wiring for the electric motor live in.

It uses a single-speed automatic transmission that is controlled by 4 buttons in the centre console: Park, Neutral, Reverse and Drive.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-transmission-controls

This is the gear shifter basically

Driving Range, Charging and Battery life

On a full charge, the Hyundai Kona EV range is 258 miles and this drives you from Lagos to Warri. Thanks to an overly active aggressive regenerative braking, drivers can enjoy a one-pedal driving where the brakes don't have to be pressed before the car stops. Once you take your leg off the accelerator, the car starts to stop on its own.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-brake-and-accelerator-pedal

A car where you rarely use the brakes cause the car is so smart

You have two options to charge your Kona EV in Nigeria:

The first is to use the regular domestic socket with either a powerful generator that can provide up to 240v or PHCN electricity and this makes the Hyundai Kona EV charging take 23 hours for a full charge.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-wall-box-fast-charger

This is what the wall cable looks like 

The second option is to buy a wall box and then plug to either a generator or PHCN supply and this will take about 9 hours. Both charging options do not affect the standard Hyundai Kona EV range of about 468km on a full charge.

There is also a fast-charging option but this is not available in Nigeria yet.

The Hyundai Kona EV battery life is estimated to be 5 years and that is alright with us. 

The video will show the EV inside out. Do not miss it!

Hyundai Kona EV walkaround video

>>> Read also: Prices of Hyundai cars in Nigeria (Update in 2020)

Benefits and challenges of driving the Hyundai Kona EV in Nigeria

Every coin has two sides and the Hyundai Kona EV is not an exception.

Cost benefits

When we did simple mathematics on the Kona EV, we realized that a full charge will cost you about ₦4,000 using PHCN supply and ₦6,000 using your generator both without the wall box. The costs are about half when you use the wall box.

If you were on a journey from Lagos to Warri, you will spend ₦14,000 on petrol with the regular Kona which uses petrol. The cost savings is over 600% when you charge with the wall box and 300% when you charge from a regular power source.

Remember that you are not observing any oil change maintenance schedule. You just have to take the car for regular checkups as recommended by the dealership you buy the Kona EV from. 

This is incredible and this is why you need to buy the Kona EV as your next car.  

Moreover, the salesperson at Stallion Motors told us that a 5-year/100,000km warranty is available for buyers of the Hyundai Kona EV as long as it is serviced and maintained by designated Hyundai workshops around Nigeria.

Also, the Hyundai Kona EV battery warranty is 5 years, which means you have a warranty for the whole length of the estimated battery life which is also 5 years.

What makes this warranty special is that it covers a free replacement of any factory defect on the car. 

Challenges the Kona EV owners will face in Nigeria

We have carefully thought out the challenges that the Hyundai Kona EV owners in Nigeria will face and that it is just one challenge. Travelling interstate with this car will be a big hassle when full-day stops between 300-mile distances cannot be observed.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-full-rear-view

Looking at the Kona EV from the rear

For example, Lagos to Abuja is about 700km. The Kona EV can only drive 400kms so you will have to make a 9-hour stop in Kabba area of Kogi State if you have the wall cable or 23-hour stop (almost a day) if you don't have.

Also, when you think about safety and unknown areas where you have no friends/family, you might highly consider not driving a Kona EV on journeys like this. 

The only solution to this is the creation of fast electric cars charging stations.

>>> You might also be interested in: [Cheap SUV corner] Hyundai Creta price in Nigeria (Update in 2020)

Hyundai Kona EV Price

The table below provides the assembled-in-Nigeria Hyundai Kona price list according to variants.

 Hyundai Kona EV variants Price (Approximately)
 SEL  ₦24,000,000
 Limited  ₦27,000,000
 Ultimate  ₦30,000,000

The Hyundai Kona EV price is quite high when you compare the costs in other parts of the world like the USA but is a reasonable price in comparison with other electric cars price in Nigeria, considering all the good aspects that the new EV offers

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-front-view-with-charging-port

Make sure you buy the wall cable

The reason for this higher price is because of the recently increasing dollar rate and also the high costs of the high-grade battery pack in the Kona EV.

Hyundai Kona EV dealerships n Nigeria

To buy the Hyundai Kona EV in Nigeria, you can visit any Stallion Motors Dealership all around the country so that you can enjoy the 5-year manufacturer warranty. Here are addresses of some dealerships that currently have the Kona EV for sale in Nigeria.

stallion-motors-hyundai-dealership-in-lagos-nigeria

We saw that Hyundai had other amusing cars in stock

Lagos: Stallion Motors: 179 Akin Adesola Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria - Island, Lagos.

Abuja: Stallion Group: 581 Independence Ave, Central Business District, Abuja.

Hyundai Nigeria's phone number is 08051000313. Call this number if you want to find out the closest place to purchase the Hyundai Kona EV around you.

Conclusion

Now, you know the outcome of our visit to Hyundai: a review of the Hyundai Kona EV 2020, the first electric car to be assembled in Nigeria for Nigerians. You can see for sure that the Hyundai Kona EV is a full-electric car that will definitely survive in Nigeria.

hyundai-kona-ev-2020-tail-light

It is time to go electric 

You can go ahead and buy it with our full support at Naijauto as regards the issues of electric cars not being able to survive in Nigeria. The Kona EV will survive but as we have analyzed, it won't be convenient for long-distance travels that cannot permit full day stopovers if you don't have the wall cable. 

>>> Get Hyundai brand new, foreign used, and locally used cars on our Hyundai for sale section. Do check them out!

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Crank - the head of content for 234DRIVE is a mechanic/car enthusiast/car vlogger that writes and creates relatable motoring experiences. Whenever he lays his hands on any car, he reviews them in depth. He calls himself the 'Educative Car Guy'.

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