Ministers, NADDC Boss, Others Excited As Hyundai  Kona Electric Vehicle Debuts In Abuja

Ministers, NADDC Boss, Others Excited As Hyundai  Kona Electric Vehicle Debuts In Abuja

Sunday, February 7, 2021 9:07 am

The electric car launched

By Daniels Ekugo
 Otumba Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Trade and Investment, Hajiya Maryam katagum, Minister of State, Trade and Investment, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing Development, were among dignitaries who witnessed on Friday, the unveiling of Hyundai Kona Electric Car, the first ever  electric car assembled in Nigeria.
The Ministers could not hide their excitement with the launch of the vehicle, which they say has opened up vistas of hope and opportunities for the Nigeria and the West African subregion through employment generation and protection of the environment.
Otumba Niyi Adebayo, noted that significant of the event was to inform automotive stakeholders and the public that stallion Group is the pioneer producer of the Made-in-Nigeria Electric Vehicle (EV) called Kona.
He said the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, in collaboration with the National Automotive Design and Development Council plans for a migration from the use of conventional vehicles (powered by Fuel and Diesel) to alternative powered vehicles, in consideration of environmental degradation caused by global warming.
“Another benefit of this vehicle to the automotive industry is the reduction of queues at filling stations, most especially during times of scarcity. I am sure most of you can relate to that. All that will be required is setting up
charging stations in our respective homes, at strategic locations like shopping malls, event centers and other social and economic clusters in major cities and subsequently nationwide. The National Automotive
Design and Development Council is working on this” he said.
The Minister He lauded  the National Automotive Design and Development Council for its efforts in the establishment of the pioneer electric vehicle charging stations in University of Nigeria, Nssuka, University of
Lagos and the Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
He noted that electric cars, trucks and buses are now being built globally, adding that their advantages in terms of zero emission of greenhouse gases, less components to service and maintain, will make it suitable for a developing economy like Nigeria.
“On behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, I commend Stallion Group for this bold step considering the current global challenge caused by covid-19 and want
to encourage them to keep investing in the expansion of Electric Vehicles and human capacity development in cooperation with the National Automotive Design and Development Council” he added.
Babatunde Fashola, while commending the Stallion Group for achieving the feat of producing first ever locally made electric car in Nigeria, noted that the bringing back alive the old hitherto moribund Volkswagen assembly plant in Lagos shows the power, commitment and power of consistency which is the hallmark President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He assured that his ministry is committed to rehabilitating and reconstruction of over 13000 road networks across the country for easy and convenient travel by motorists.
Mallam Jelani Aliyu, the Director-General of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), said the launch of Hyundai Kona EV is significant because it is a drive towards industrialization and through leveraging advanced technology.
According to Aliyu, the government plans to replicate the massive improvement the cell phones technology brought to the economy through the auto industry.
“This is also what we strategize to do to the automotive sector, to empower and promote the integration of advanced technology in the mobility solutions produced and used in the country so as to dramatically enhance the lives of all Nigerians. Advanced technology will allow vehicles that are safer, much more efficient, and very very low maintenance cost. For example, an EV car has thousands less parts than a conventional petrol or diesel engine, so it has far fewer part that can go wrong” he added.
Aliyu also disclosed plans to  start  an electric vehicle technology transfer program in collaboration with three universities.
“We are starting with the Hyundai Kona EV. WE have built 6 automotive training centres, which we shall leverage in EV technology transfer.
“The NADDC is working on a Vehicle Finance Scheme that will enable Nigerians to easily own and drive these technologically advanced vehicles such as this Kona EV. We have reached an advanced stage of discussion with JAIZ and Zenith banks and as soon as we recieve the necessary approvals we shall deploy the program.
“Our target is to have 30 percent of all passenger cars produced in Nigeria be electric by 2025. The EV pilot program will allow us to gather the necessary empirical data needed towards an EV Policy which will further enhance investment into their production and create its sustainability” he said.
In remarks, Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) also lauded the actualization of the electric vehicles in the country, saying that innovation is the only way to create prosperity and get the country out of its present situation.
He that South Korea enjoys the present status of economic prosperity and greatness through innovations.
“20 years ago South Korea was not as good as Nigeria, but today they are one of the leading innovative country in the world because of innovations”
Gaurav Vashisht, Head, Sales and  Marketing, Hyundai Group, reeled out the unique features
Hyundai Kona saying it is designed to provide maximum comfort for the Nigerian motoring public.
Vashisht said On the Kona is a subcompact SUV, which drew its  name from a western district in the island of Hawaii.
According to him, Kona  has a range of 482 kilometres once fully charged, adding that standard charging time is 9 hours, 30 minutes.
Vashisht said Kona came with 64 kilowatt battery capacity with five years warranty.
Mahmud Sahabo, Assistant General Manager, Kaura Motors,  corroborated Vashisht after test driving of the newly launched Kona, said the experience was  wonderful.
“It is wonderful. So quiet,  soft and and in fact noiseless. The performance is very good, very luxurious and comforting.  I believe is a car to buy” he said.
With the launch of the Nigerian-made EV, Nigeria joins the rest of the world in embracing the recent innovation in energy mobility towards electric cars, courtesy of Hyundai and the Stallion Group.
This innovation is an open letter from Nigeria to the rest of the world, as it shows the country’s seriousness about a clean environment through clean and other sustainable energy options.
This new development is a move towards replacing internal combustion engine-powered vehicles with electric vehicles, in a bid to reduce environmental pollution and keying into an eco-friendly green environment.

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