As the rush for electric and gas-powered vehicles heightens, some Nigerian auto industry operators have listed the benefits of these vehicles for the Nigerian owners.
The Chief Executive officer of OMAA (a local gas-powered vehicle assembly plant), Chinedu Oguegbu, who spoke at the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) annual training and capacity building workshop in Lagos, said the time has come for Nigerians to adopt gas-powered vehicles as part of reducing vehicle emissions which remain a major environmental concern.
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It was a gathering of operators including the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Toyota Nigeria Limited, Weststar Associates Limited, franchisees of the Mercedes brand, Jet Systems Limited; assemblers of Jet brands of electric vehicles for passenger and commercial uses and Autochek Africa; to assess the future of electric gas-powered vehicles.
Stallion Motors which was the first to introduce Hyundai Kona, the first locally produced electric vehicles, CFAO Motors, Coscharis Motors, among others called for a regulatory framework to ease the transition process.
Oguegbu who is one of the facilitators said the increasing importance of natural gas in the world which is expected to form 26% of the energy mix by 2040 cannot be under-estimated.
He said, “With Nigeria committing to the Paris Agreement to reduce the rate of climate change globally, there is an increased push by the government to promote more environmentally friendly vehicles: EVs, NGVs and Hydrogen.
“The advantages of using natural gas include up to 60 percent savings in the cost of fuel relative to other options like diesel and petrol, and up to 90% reduction in knocks and carbon emission for a healthier, cleaner and more environmentally friendly fuel alternative.”
Also speaking at the event, Uchendu Ebuka, Technical Lead for Jet Auto Company, an assembler of electric vehicles in Nigeria, noted that it has been estimated that by 2040, 54% of vehicles sold globally would be electric vehicles.
According to him, one of the challenges with electric vehicle migration in Nigeria is government policies. He said, “Unlike Europe where government policies are forcing automotive markets to embrace more climate-friendly options like EVs, Africa’s governments are more relaxed. Government should put policies in place to help bolster the populace confidence in using EVs.