Enter Nigeria’s first electric car

History was made on Friday in the nation’s automotive industry as Stallion Group rolled out Hyundai Kona, Nigeria’s first electric car at the VON Assembly Plant in Ojo, Lagos. Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu  unveiled the N24 million car to the admiration of the guests, reports TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO

Nigerian auto lovers would soon stop depending on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called fuel to get their vehicles moving if what happened last Friday at VON Assembly Plant in Ojo, Lagos could be improved upon.

Stallion Group, an auto giant, showcased Hyundai Kona, the first locally assembled electric car.

The electric car was unveiled by the Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Nation learnt that the car will go for N24 million.

Kona electric car has been extensively applauded for its class driving range, safety convenience features and fast-charging capability.

Its success can be measured by the numerous awards the car has garnered since its debut.

In April this year, it was named the Best Small Family Car by the inaugural TopGear Electric Awards based on its 24-hour (1,600-km) performance.

This year also, United States News & World Report named it the Best Electric Vehicle. WardsAuto included KONA Electric on its 10 best engines list. In 2018, Auto Express named it the Affordable Electric Car of the Year Utility Vehicle of the Year.

Welcoming the guests, the Managing Director of Stallion VON, Mr. Rohtagi Manish, hailed the Lagos State government for always being forward-thinking for the greater good of Lagosians and encouraging sustainable means of operations.

This, he said, was making the state future ready.

According to Manish, the state’s support for the first locally assembled electric car further adds to the vision for a greener and eco-friendly Lagos.

Governor Sanwo-Olu said the electric car would reduce pressure on the use of petroleum.

He described the electric car as a technology on display.

He said: “The future that we see is the future of technology and this is the technology that we are talking about. This is 21st Century technology that has been brought into our country.

“With the innovation of Hyundai Kona, we do not need to put the pressure on what is the pump price of oil again, what is the pump price of petroleum again.

“All the issues and fights that we are having about prices of petroleum going up and the rest of it will be a thing of the past. This is a way to go, and it is the future that we are seeing now. This is the first electric car that we are seeing and we as the government need to partner with them.”

Sanwo-Olu said there was the need to create an enabling environment for the company to do well, so that it could employ a lot more youths.

The governor said with the unveiling of the Hyundai Kona electric car, youths would be employed and empowered for greater opportunities.

According to him, the state government will partner with Ibile Oil and Gas and other private organisations to create different charging points in the city, so that people will have where to charge the cars.

“For us, we see a renowned hope, for us we see a tomorrow coming today, for us we see and believe in the Stallion dream,” the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu praised Stallion Group for believing in the Lagos and Nigeria dream, and revamping the moribund asset located along Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

Enter Nigeria’s first electric car
Enter Nigeria’s first electric car

The Brand Head, Mr. Vasisht Gaurav, said Hyundai Kona is a stepping stone towards a greener Lagos.

Gaurav believed that Nigeria is ready for electric vehicles.

“Once they are affordable and accessible, most Nigerians will adopt the new normal. It will be great to simply charge my car at home like a mobile phone and drive around at no fuel cost,” he said.

Kona, he added, offers ease to the consumers.

“The first electric SUV from Hyundai, the Kona, can go up to a range of 482 km with an acceleration of (0-100kms) in 9.7 seconds on a single battery cycle of a capacity of 64 KWH. The ease of charging is unmatched and can be plugged at home or work for 9.35 hours for a full battery. It’s 100 per cent electric with zero carbon emission. KONA Electric is here to change the way people think about going electric,” he said.

Global interest in climate change and its effects on the environment and with the unpredicted pandemic of COVID-19, more countries are increasingly acknowledging the shift needed from a fossil fuel-driven economy to one that is sustainable, green and attempts to mitigate climate change.

No doubt, Hyundai Motors Nigeria, recognised this paradigm shift in the transportation sector by bringing in electric mobility. It is a step towards the same goal. For a developing country like Nigeria, not being discouraged by the infrastructural challenges, Stallion plans to use the first-ever Electric Vehicle (EV) in conjugation with Hyundai to embark on the attitudinal change for a clean environment.


Running Costs

Another factor that will grease Kona’s wheel of success in the country is the car’s running cost, which is quite minimal. That will be more so in Nigeria, where electricity consumers resident in accommodation categorised under R1 are charged only N45 per kilowatt.

That implies Hyundai Kona owners would incur only N3300 for a full charge that will do a running of 482 kms, if he or she plugs the car into the public power supply.  The charging is also as simple as getting your mobile plugged in at your home or office electrical socket.

The ease of charging is unmatched and can be plugged in at home or work for 9.35 hours for a full battery charge and the power consumption for full charging is 143 WH/KM (68.926 kwh for 482km).

Besides the Hyundai Kona’s electric power-packed performance for providing a thrilling driving experience, it also manages to excel with its charging kit capacity of 2.3KW, with a voltage of 230V and frequency of 50Hz. The styling of the vehicle is conventional, the interior is luxurious, and the ride is nearly silent.

Kona electric has been extensively applauded for its class driving range, safety convenience features and fast-charging capability.