Nigeria’s first locally assembled Electric car, Hyundai Kona was on Friday unveiled by the Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr Jelani Aliyu, at Abuja.
Otunba Adebayo congratulated Stallion Group and its subsidiary, Hyundai Nigeria for introducing the first Electric Vehicle into the nation’s market.
In a goodwill message, the Minister 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.”
Meanwhile, the NADDC Director-General, Mr. Jelani Aliyu, MFR announced plans by the Federal Government to begin Electric Vehicle (EV) Pilot programme in three universities.
Speaking at the event, Jelani, who congratulated Stallion Group (the parent company of Hyundai Nigeria) for the feat, described the locally assembled KONA ELECTRIC unveil as a significant milestone for the Nigerian automotive industry and a strong testimony to the achievements of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP).
The NADDC boss also urged Nigerians to embrace the new technology, which according to him has empowered businesses and energized private sectors through industrialization.
Speaking at the event, Stallion Group’s CEO, Mr. Anant Badjatya commended the Nigerian government for always being forward thinking for the greater good of Nigeria and sustainable means of operations, making the nation future ready.
He explained: “Being here today to launch the nation’s first locally assembled electric car, adds to the vision for a greener, eco-friendly Nigeria.
“The electric car, which comes with zero emission, can be charged both at home and workplace.”
According to Badjatya, Stallion group is working to ensure that more work is done on the new product, thereby making it cheaper for Nigerians.
“Right now,” he pointed out, “the most important thing is for us to understand that we need to embrace the future, because this is the future of 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.”
Also the brand head, Mr. Gaurav Vashisht, described Hyundai Kona launch as a stepping stone towards a greener Nigeria.
He said: “The question often asked is whether or not Nigeria is ready for Electric Vehicle. Who says we are not ready? Making it affordable and accessible will see most Nigerians adopt the new normal in today’s time. 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 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.
“You can also charge Kona battery with ultra-fast charger in 3:30 hours. It’s 100% electric with zero carbon emission. KONA Electric is here to change the way people think about going electric.”
Global interest in climate change and its effects on the environment and society more broadly, is at an all-time high. Specifically, with the unpredictable 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 recognized 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, in conjugation with Hyundai, embark on the attitudinal change for a clean environment.
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. 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.
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