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Why Nigerians Must Embrace Electric Vehicles- Faleye, SAGLEV Boss


Babajide Okeowo

Dr Sam Faleye, Chairman, CEO, SAGLEV, a United States Electric Vehicle Manufacturer has urged Nigerians to jettison the worries that abound about electric vehicles saying that EVs are actually affordable, need less maintenance, and do not require frequent charging.

There have been so many unfounded and widespread misconceptions about the affordability of Electric Vehicles EVs, charging challenges, and other sundry myths surrounding the feasibility of using EVs in Nigeria,

Speaking at a Media Launch to showcase the advantages of EVs to Nigerians in Lagos recently, Faleye disclosed that EVs have come to stay while taking his time to explain the numerous benefits and advantages of electric vehicles in comparison to Internal Combustion Engines (ICE).

Faleye disclosed that with the removal of fuel subsidy and the attendant increase in the cost of petrol, the alternative to ameliorating the suffering of Nigerians is actually EVs because it is cheaper to run an EV when compared to ICE vehicles and even CNG-powered vehicles.

“The cost of petrol has skyrocketed and when compared to how cheap it is to charge an EV, you will realise that it is cheaper and cost-effective.

Charging is the simplest thing. In our warehouses in Asia, we have well over 200 chargers just sitting down there, waiting for us to bring them in, we are going to have different charging spots that have 30 to 40 chargers, where the drivers can go pack their car charge, by the time they start work the next morning, they have a full charge. And none of the drivers will drive 300 kilometers a day. And the beauty of everything is that that is $2,000 or thereabout that is going to cost them to own a charger at home versus the 9,000 Naira to 20,000 Naira is costing them now. This is remarkable” he enthused.

According to Faleye, some of the major misconceptions about EVs have to do with their affordability and the need for frequent charging are actually unfounded while disclosing that in comparison to Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) EVs are quite affordable, cheaper to maintain, consume less power when using the air conditioner and need less maintenance.

“In the area of affordability, it will shock you to note that one of our brand-new EVs on display goes for around N18-N20m, and if you compare it with a brand-new Toyota Camry that goes for about N40m, you will agree with me that the EV is shockingly cheap” he disclosed.

He disclosed further that with the rising costs of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, it has even become cheaper and more cost-effective to embrace electric vehicles.

Addressing the issues of charging which has been identified as another major source of worry for EV users, Faleye disclosed that an EV does not need frequent charging.

“In the area of charging, a fully charged car can travel for as long as 300 kilometers on a full charge, this is equal to driving from Oshodi to Ajah 10 times. So, you really do not need to charge your car every day, all you require is to charge the car about once or twice per week.

It also takes about 4 hours with a level two charger to fully charge a car and this can be done while you sleep” he added.

On the availability of charging points, he disclosed that plans are underway to roll out charging stations at every Ardova and Enyo Petrol Station across the country where Electric Vehicles can be charged.

He further highlighted that with an Electric Vehicle, a user will spend less time in a mechanic’s workshop as it requires less maintenance.

“The cost of maintenance of an electric vehicle versus an internal combustion engine vehicle is usually about 50% because the electric vehicle does not have a carburetor, crankshaft engine oil, all the things that get bought normally in a car, the electric vehicle does not have those things. It is just an electric motor and a battery; the maintenance cost is way less.

The only things that the electric car does share in common with internal combustion cars include parts such as suspension, tire, headlights, headlamps, shock absorbers, and brake pads. 

But again, on electric vehicles, the number of times you go to service your car is much less. There is no need to check your oil” he added.

On the amount of power consumed when in the hold-up with the air conditioner on, Faleye clarified that contrary to popular belief, EVs don’t consume so much power when in the hold-up.

“Another thing the people need to know is that an electric vehicle doesn’t necessarily burn a massive amount of power inside hold up. An electric vehicle has one of the most efficient types of air conditioners that consume less power even when in the holdup” he clarified

Faleye appealed to car dealers in the country to partner with SAGLEV to make EVs available to Nigerians.