Why Nigeria Does not want e-Cars, by Ekweremadu

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Nigeria is not likely to open her borders too soon for an inflow of electric cars. Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, says as a major oil producing country, they will frustrate the sale of electric cars in Nigeria.

Ekweremadu said, ‘’this will enable us to sell our oil.’’ He was speaking at the Plenary as the Red Chamber of the country’s bicameral Legislature debated a bill sponsored by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce (PDP Bayelsa East ).

Murray-Bruce is sponsoring a bill for an Act to phase out petrol vehicles by 2035 and introduce electric cars.

Electric car is a plug-in electric automobile that is propelled by one or more electric motors, using energy typically stored in rechargeable batteries.

According to Wikipedia, from 2008, a renaissance in electric vehicle manufacturing occurred due to advances in batteries, illnesses and deaths from air pollution,[1] and the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Several national and local governments have established tax credits, subsidies, and other incentives to promote the introduction and adoption in the mass market of new electric vehicles, often depending on battery size, their electric range and purchase price. The current maximum tax credit allowed by the US Government is $7,500 per car. Compared with internal combustion engine cars, electric cars are quieter, have no tailpipe emissions, and lower emissions in general.

Charging an electric car can be done at a variety of charging stations, these charging stations can be installed in both houses and public areas.The two all-time best selling electric cars, the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S, have EPA-rated ranges reaching up to 151 mi (243 km) and 335 mi (539 km) respectively.The Leaf is the best-selling highway-capable electric car ever with more than 400,000 units sold globally by March 2019, followed by the Tesla Model S with 263,500 units sold worldwide by December 2018.

As of December 2018, there were about 5.3 million light-duty all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in use around the world. Despite the rapid growth experienced, the global stock of plug-in electric cars represented just about 1 out of every 250 vehicles (0.40%) on the world’s roads by the end of 2018.The plug-in car market is shifting towards fully electric battery vehicles, as the global ratio between annual sales of battery BEVs and PHEVs went from 56:44 in 2012, to 60:40 in 2015, and rose to 69:31 in 2018.

Meanwhile, in his argument, Senator Murray-Bruce had argued that electric cars are healthy, economical and would not deplete the ozone layer, adding ‘’in no distant time, combustible vehicles would be phased out; and the earlier Nigeria buys into the change, the better. I own an electric car that I have been using for the past five years. It is cheaper to maintain and durable.’’

The bill ignited debates in the hallowed chamber, as each senator aired reasons for the rejection of the bill.

In his submission, Ekweremadu commended Murray-Bruce for his ‘’uncommon common sense and brilliant ideas’’, noting that the ancillary to Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution grants Nigerians freedom of movement; and that there is no need to introduce a law to mandate the use of electric cars.

Continuing, the deputy senate president said, ‘’besides, in economic sense, we are an oil producing country. So, we should do everything possible to frustrate the sale of electric cars in Nigeria to enable us to sell our oil.’’

Senator Barau Jibrin (APC-Kano) said while electric vehicles no doubt would be more friendly to the environment and health, making its use mandatory was not feasible, pointing out, ‘’we have to look at individual networth. Not all Nigerians can afford the vehicles at a given time. We all know the importance of vehicles in our daily activities. So, banning use of fuel cars will cause hardship, particularly for those who may not be able to acquire electric cars.’’

Apparently persuaded, Murray-Bruce withdrew the bill in a bid to allow Nigeria harvest more petro-dollar.

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