In developed countries like the US, UK, China etc, electric vehicles are fast becoming commonplace. The question Nigerians are concerned about is if electric cars can really work here. There are obvious reasons that make Nigerians doubt if electric cars can thrive in this country.
An electric vehicle, simply called an EV, is basically powered by energy stored in rechargeable batteries. Electric vehicles need intermittent charging to keep them working. Truth be told, electric vehicles are a better alternative to gasoline-powered cars because they are more cost-effective, have low maintenance and give zero emissions.
The fact is, Nigeria as a country is quite slow in adopting the latest innovation and technological trends. Other African countries like Kenya and South Africa amongst others have gone ahead in making their country more habitable for electric vehicles. But, what about Nigeria? Knowing the current challenges facing the country, can electric vehicles really work in Nigeria?
If you are a Nigerian, then you must have at some point engaged in road transportation from state to state. The state of the Nigerian road is nothing to write home about. The kind of cars that can survive the strain of Nigerian roads has to be strong and durable. But, can we really guarantee that if we ride a sophisticated Tesla S model on a typical Nigerian road, will it survive for two months? It’s safer to say electric cars will thrive better in Nigeria if good roads are made available.
For electric cars to work in any country, then electricity has to be readily available. Unfortunately, Nigeria can’t boast of having a constant supply of electricity. In Nigeria, almost 80% of those with access to electric power get less than 12 hours a day, and about 47% of the population don’t even have access to power at all. Electric cars need a minimum of 9-12 hours of charging to become fully charged. With the current state of electricity in Nigeria, it’s hard to confidently conclude that electric cars will work.
Few Charging Stations
As mentioned earlier, electric vehicles need to be charged to keep running. Home and public charging options are available in developed countries; however, the opposite is the case in Nigeria. Nigeria is yet to have sufficient charging stations to cater for electric vehicles. Unless more charging stations are installed, there is a limit to the number of electric vehicles that can thrive on Nigerian roads. Possible Electric Car Charging Stations In Nigeria
Maintenance And Technical Know-How
As it stands, very few automobile workshops in Nigeria can maintain and repair an electric vehicle. This means that, if an electric car should get damaged, the chances of having it safely repaired by a Nigerian mechanic are slim. For Electric cars to work in Nigeria, then there needs to be more trained electric vehicle mechanics.
Unavailability Of Spare Parts
In Nigeria’s auto market, spare parts for electric vehicles are grossly limited. If you own an electric vehicle, you will constantly have to depend on importation to have the spare parts you need. This can be inconvenient and even expensive considering the present strength of the naira over other currencies. The unavailability of spare parts can be a discouragement to buy an electric vehicle.
The distance you can go with your electric car is determined by the level of power in the batteries. This means if you have 50 miles left unless you charge on time, your car could stop dead in the middle of the road. The uncertainty of traffic especially in busy cities like Lagos, Abuja etc can pose a serious threat to embracing electric vehicles for car buyers. Imagine you have only 70 miles left, and you get stuck in dense traffic. And as you know, there are no charging stations nearby to come to your rescue. Honestly, unless the traffic moves fast, your electric vehicle might stop working before you reach your destination. The incessant traffic on Nigerian roads raises serious doubt about if electric cars can really work.
Nigeria is a developing country. This means, that if the right measures and steps are taken, it could rise to be at par with other developed countries of the world. Electric cars will work in Nigeria when the challenges that threaten their sustainability are addressed.