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It’s not easy, but Africa must transit to electric cars, says Jelani Aliyu

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Director-General of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu, has reiterated the need for Africa to embrace electric vehicles.

Aliyu, in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja, stated that the continent could not advance at a faster pace with only vehicles with fossil fuel.

The director-general, while delivering a speech on ‘Why E-Mobility is Necessary for Africa’ at the ongoing London EV Show in Britain, called for advanced decentralised industrialisation on the African continent.

According to him, e-mobility will be able to provide the necessary logistics and transportation that would expeditiously advance Africa, without destroying its natural environments and without contributing to the negative effect of climate change on the continent.

“That is why e-mobility is important to Africa and to the world, so that Africans will, in a sustainable manner, have access to jobs, healthcare, education, markets and further social interactions,” he said.

Aliyu, however, disclosed that a number of African countries and governments had started developing electric vehicle policies that would determine how best to promote the sector.

According to him, some of the policies are geared toward addressing areas, such as local production of electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and making sure there is accountability toward the mining and processing of raw materials in the continent.

Speaking on Nigeria’s efforts at promoting local production of electric vehicles, Aliyu said that NADDC had been working closely with relevant local automotive and investment companies on the production of the vehicles.

The NADDC boss added that while Hyundai Nigeria had successfully started assembling electric cars in Nigeria, with the Kona EV, other local automotive companies, such as Jet Systems Motors and Max-e had also developed electric vans and motorcycles.

“We decided to go the sustainable way and we built four solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations to prove that the concept could work.

“We made three of them 100 per cent solar-powered and sited them at three universities so that technology transfer would begin to happen.

“It was to serve as platforms that manufacturers of electric vehicles and related products from around the world could leverage to collaborate in coming up with more e-mobility solutions,” he said.

Aliyu, therefore, called on investors to come to Nigeria, saying that the country presents a virtually clean slate for innovation.

“We see our challenges as opportunities for advanced and forward-thinking companies from around the world to really look into and provide solutions that will add value, both financially and socially.

“This is to ensure that it is a win-win for the companies and for Nigeria, Africa and the world in general,” he said. 

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