Nigeria signs MOU with foreign partners to manufacture electric vehicles, but local manufacturers say the country may not be ready for EVs

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August 26, 2022
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2 mins read
Electric vehicle charging

The news

  • The Nigerian government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Israeli and Japanese companies to start manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) in Nigeria. 
  • The MOU was signed by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), on Thursday, August 25, 2022, in partnership with Peramare Enterprise of Israel and SIXAI of Japan. 
  • Ayal Raz, the representative of Peramare Enterprise, said the set-up will begin in the first quarter of 2023. He said they’ll start with assembling the vehicles and move on to building them entirely in Nigeria. 

Is Nigeria ready for EVs? 

Tolulope Williams, Head of E-Mobility at MAX.NG, told Techpoint Africa that the partnership is a welcome development, but a lot needs to be done first. “There are a lot of steps to deploying EVs; the charging infrastructure and access to energy are extremely important,” he said.

On average, electric vehicles (EVs) need to charge for at least 30 minutes to reach a full charge. However, access to electricity in the country is still minimal. 

According to the  Energy Progress Report 2022, Nigeria has the lowest access to electricity globally. About 92 million people — 44% of 206 million — in the country do not have access to stable electricity. 

Many Nigerian roads also have a reputation for not being very motorable. EVs are powered by electric motors, making them heavier than their petrol or diesel-powered counterparts. These electric motors stand a higher chance of being damaged by bad roads. 

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Local manufacturers also need support too

Williams also pointed out that the government should support local EV manufacturers like himself. 

While Nigeria isn’t a heavy player in the EV game like the US and other Western countries, some local manufacturers have built working EVs in the country. From JET EVs to Siltech’s electric bikes, Williams believes that local players can also be valuable to developing EVs in the country. 

EVs are not yet mainstream in the global automotive industry, and while the US houses one of the biggest EV manufacturers in the world — Tesla — only about 1% of cars in the US are fully electric. 

Although the infrastructure for EVs might not be present in Nigeria, building electric vehicles in the country might be a good place to start. 

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
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