Against the tide of perceived lack of investor-enthusiasm in Nigeria as the rest of the world races towards electric vehicle technology, one of the country’s largest conglomerates, Stallion Group, has blazed the trail with the launch of the first locally assembled EV –  the Hyundai Kona compact SUV.

The vehicle was launched by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu who was accompanied by senior members of the Lagos State Government, at the roll-out ceremny held inside the Stallion Group’s VON Automobile assembly plant on Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Ojo, on Friday.

Impressed with the pioneering move by the Stallion Group in EV technology, which he observed is in line with a quest to diversify from total dependence on fossil fuel, Gov. Sanwo-Olu announced that his government would set up public charging points in various parts of the state, starting with the secretariat area in Alausa.

This, he explained, would ensure hitch-free motoring by electric vehicle owners in the state.

He lauded the assembly of Hyundai Kona EV in Nigeria, declaring,“the future is here,“ even as he comended Stallion for reviving the masive assembly plant thereby providing employment opportunities for the youths.

Gov. Sanwo-Olu also assured that the completed sections in the on-going construction work on the Badagry expressway {now having five lanes on each side instead of the previous two}, would by the middle of next year be extended beyond the VON bus-stop, to LASU, which would enhance access to the plant.

In his welcome remarks, the Manageing Director of Stallion VON,  Manish Rohtagi, appreciated the  Lagos government for always being forward-thinking for the greater good of the state and encouraging sustainable means of operations which has made the state future-ready.

Rohtagi said the state goverment’s support for  the first locally assembled electric car in this plant further adds to  the vision for a greener and eco-friendly Lagos.

Introducing the new vehicle the Hyundai Brand Head ,Gaurav Vasisht added that Hyundai Kona is a stepping stone towards a greener Lagos, saying, “The question often asked is are we ready for Electric Vehicle in Nigeria? I am asking ‘Who says we are not ready?‘ Making it affordable and accessible will see most Nigerians adapt in the new normal in today’s time.“

Vasisht provided more details abot Kona: “It will be great to simply charge my car at home like a mobile phone and drive around at no fuel cost. Kona offers just that ease to the consumers. The first electric SUV from Hyundai, the Kona, can go up to a range of 482 kilometres 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 in at home or work for 9.35 hours for a full battery. It is 100 percent electric with zero carbon emission. Kona Electric is here to change the way people think about going electric.”

Bringing it further home, Vasisht  explained the car’s ability to cover about 482 kilometres on a single charge of the 64 KWH battery, means it can go from Lagos to beyond Warri, before requiring a recharge.

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

Hyundai Motors Nigeria,  a member of the Stallion Group, recognised this paradigm shift in the transportation sector by bringing in electric mobility that is a step towards the same goal.

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 that Hyundai Kona owners would incur only N3300 for a full charge that will do a running of 482 kms,  if they plug the car into public power supply.  The charging is also as simple as getting one‘s mobile phone  plugged in at one‘s 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. Its success can be measured by the following; In April 2020, 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, U.S. 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. The EV also played a role in the Kona nameplate winning Spanish newspaper ABC’s Best Car of the Year award. It also won the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.

While EVs may have had a chequered past, there is still unanimity amongst auto industry leaders and analysts that a tipping point is approaching where mass adoption will become inevitable.  These factors have come together to force the traditional industry to take electrification seriously — faster than we had previously expected.   


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