Following the rise in transportation cost as a result of the fuel subsidy removal, Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, has revealed plans to introduce the use of Electric Vehicles for residents of the state. If this materialize, public transporters in Delta would no longer need fuel for their cars.
The announcement by the Governor followed his inspection and test run of two already produced electric vehicles by Jet Motor Company, situated in the State. The vehicles were brought to the Government House in Asaba, capital of Delta, for the Governor’s approval of its use in the State.
Satisfied and happy with the product after crest-driving it, Governor Sheriff quickly added that a Committee would be set up for the project immediately. He went ahead to appoint the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Kingsley Emu, to spearhead the introduction of electric vehicle in Delta State.
Dr. Kingsley is expected to do background search on the economic profitability of the vehicle in Nigeria’s economy, as well as its sustainability assurance.
“This is the first time I have the opportunity to drive electric vehicles and you can see that it’s smooth, noiseless and comfortable, and with the way the price of fuel is going up electric vehicles are better at this time because everybody is trying to move away from fuel to save cost.
“The Electric vehicles (E.V) are cheaper; the only thing is that we are still studying this model and we are coming out with our own decision very shortly, to know whether to go in that direction, especially with the present hike in petrol price.
“Everybody is trying to go in that direction. It will also be economical and the good thing about this is that I am putting together a team headed by the Secretary to the State Government, to understudy this and see if it is something the state can do to support the transporters and reduce cost of transportation,” Gov. Sheriff said.
Even though electric vehicle has been in existence for a while and many first world countries like China, US are already maximizing the product, Sheriff would be the first Governor, in the history of Nigeria’s economy to invest in electric vehicles and further introduce it to his residents.
Speaking to newsmen, Chairman/ CEO of Jet Motors, Chidi Ajaere explained the electric vehicles were economy friendly and less costlier to maintain. All it needs is electricity for charging. Ajaere said electric vehicles are the best for the current transportation saga in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government is already taking the initiative of investing in electric vehicles. We have abundance of sun in Nigeria, so the idea for the Federal Government and the Delta State government is looking into building solar powered charging infrastructure.
“The two biggest cost drivers for transportation is cost of maintenance and cost of fueling but with electric vehicles you eliminate the cost of maintenance and the cost of petrol thereby reducing the cost of transportation by almost 80 percent.
“The life span of the battery is about eight to ten years and the bigger vehicles can do about 300km on a full charge; that’s like moving from Lagos to Ibadan and back to Lagos or from Asaba to Warri and back to Asaba.
“All we need is just the Federal Government building solar charging stations along the way for these vehicles when travelling a longer distance so that when the passengers come down to ease themselves like they usually do, you can plug in your car to charge for some time before continuing your journey.
“In the rainy season, the solar charging infrastructures will have batteries that would store power for these vehicles to charge on gloomy days like this.
“Those stations can also be attached to CNG powered lines to help charge vehicles during the rainy season,” Ajaere explained.