Nigeria’s first electric car Hyundai Kona makes debut in Abuja.

After an unveiling in Lagos last year, Stallion Group last Friday launched Hyundai Kona, Nigeria’s first locally-assembled electric car, in Abuja.

The event brought in senior government officials, including Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, his Works and Housing counterpart, Mr Babtunde Raji Fashola and Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr Jelani Aliyu, among others.

Chief Executive Officer of Stallion Group Mr. Anant Badjatya said the government has always been forward-thinking for the good of Nigerians.

The electric car, he said, further adds to the vision for a greener eco-friendly Nigeria. He added that it was also another way of making the nation future-ready.

Badjatya explained that the electric car comes with zero-emission, and can be charged both at home and workplace.

The auto firm, he said, was working to ensure the car becomes cheaper for Nigerians.

“Right now, the most important thing is for us to understand that we need to embrace the future because this is the future of the automobile. We cannot wish it away, because the entire world is now embracing EVs as they want to get away from the diesel and petrol engines. The good thing about Nigerians is that they are very innovative, they can embrace and enjoy this technology,” he said.

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Otunba Adebayo congratulated the Stallion Group and its subsidiary, Hyundai Nigeria on introducing the first electric vehicle into the Nigerian market.

He said: “This is the first electric car that we are seeing here. The Federal Government is willing to provide the enabling environment for this technology to thrive. On behalf of the Federal Government, I commend Hyundai for this initiative, as we continue to support this noble idea.”

Aliyu seized the opportunity of the event to announce plans by the Federal Government to begin an Electric Vehicle (EV) pilot programme in three universities.

He congratulated the Stallion Group (the parent company of Hyundai Nigeria) on the huge achievement.

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The NADDC chief said the unveiling of the Kona Electric vehicle was a significant milestone for the automotive industry and a strong testimony to the achievements of the agency.

He urged Nigerians to embrace new technology which according to him, has empowered businesses and energised private sectors through industrialisation.

Stallion Group Brand Head Mr. Gaurav Vashisht said Hyundai Kona is a stepping stone towards a greener Nigeria.

Vashisht said: “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, you will see Nigerians 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. Kona offers just that ease to the consumers.”

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 in at home or work for 9:35 hours (standard charger) for a full battery. It can also be charged with ultra-fast charger in 3:30 hours. It is 100 per cent electric with zero carbon emission.

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According to Vashisht, global interest in climate change and its effects on the environment and society more broadly is at an all-time high.

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.

“Hyundai Motors Nigeria recognised this paradigm shift in the transportation sector by bringing in electric mobility that is a step towards the same goal. For a developing country like Nigeria, not being discouraged by the infrastructural challenges, Stallion plans to launch the first-ever Electric Vehicle (EV) in conjugation with Hyundai to embark on the attitudinal change for a clean environment,” he said.

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