Electric vehicles have been existent in the world since decades ago. In Africa, the demand for Electric Vehicles only became recent due to the demand for seamless and cost-effective transportation. Companies are not leaving the climaxing demands, unmet. One of those companies is JET Motors Company.
To produce a vehicle that would stand the test of time on African Roads, JET Motors used 3 years to research, assess their findings, test and retest. Finally, the years of constant findings yielded fruit, as the company released their first electric vehicle to run on Nigerian roads without emissions.
At an event hosted by Techpoint Inspired in 2019, Joseph Wemimo, Director of Strategy and Operations at JET, had introduced JET Mover, the first product to be produced by the company. Subsequently in 2020, The Director of Sales and Marketing – Rupani Sanjay; in an interview it granted Techpoint Africa in 2020, mentioned that it had raised $9m to build Africa’s first all-electric vehicle, as their ultimate goal is to build the Tesla of Africa.
The company did not just stop at releasing the JET Mover. In June 2021, they entered into a partnership with God Is Good Logistics (GIG, GIGL) – a transport and logistics colossus in Nigeria, to introduce another electric vehicle– an electric Cargo Van named JET EV. With the new invention, it is clear that JET Motors is ready to lead Africa to the next level of transport technology.
The New JET EV
Commenting on the characteristics of the new vehicle, Ebuka Uchendu – JET’s Technical Lead, pointed out that: “The EV has a high-capacity lithium-ion phosphate battery rated at 107.6kwh, a traction motor with a larger torque of 950Nm; making it possible for the vehicle to accelerate from 0-100km/h in under 20 seconds. It also comes with a Supercharger that can fully charge a dead 107.6kwh SOC (State of Charge) in 2 hours or less”. On the cost of fuelling the vehicle, Uchendu says: “If you look at the cost of fuelling a vehicle for 250km, you will see that using an EV cost less to maintain…you can charge the EV to full charge with N6,000, while fuelling a vehicle now in Nigeria will cost between N10,000-N15,000. The vehicle can travel for 260-280km on a full charge. With the EV, the number of engine parts reduces by almost 70%. thereby cutting maintenance costs. Operational costs such as refuelling, also drop significantly”.
Some regions in Africa still experience unstable power supply. On how they plan to set about this seeming roadblock, Chidi Ajaere – Chairman of GIG group points out that the Company is planning to build charging stations for its partners. “With the partners we already have, what we are doing now is that as they acquire the fleet, we are actually building these stations for them to fit in with their mobility needs”.
Still, JET Motors Company has the long-term plan of building solar or wind-powered stations across various locations. Again, the introduction of electric vehicles in Africa should go well, as the JET EV by JET Motors Company, is moulded in such a way as to fit with the less than excellent road transport system in Africa, and the humid weather.
The African Prospect
Considering that Electric vehicles are still quite a new invention in the Continent, getting investors in the automobile field to key into this new policy may pose a challenge. Mr. Ajaere says that the partnership plans to target fleet operators – transport companies like ABC, as well as schools and the government. He pointed out how fleet operators stand to gain: “Fleet operators tend to lose a lot over a period of time. So even though your initial cost of entry might be high, if you think about it as a fleet operator who has 10 or 20 new vehicles, two major costs would be maintaining those vehicles and the cost of petrol. But with the EV, you practically reduce that cost literally by 100% because you are not using petroleum and your maintenance cost is almost zero. So, in terms of maintenance over a long and short period of time, EV is better, but the entry cost is higher”.
Regarding expansion, Mr. Ajaere believes that in the nearest future, Nigeria and Ghana will be able to export these vehicles within African and beyond, if they have favourable policies.
Prospects for this development in Africa seems bright. The partnership between JET Motors Company and GIGL, plans not only to build the mass transportation space, but also make it easier to adopt EV by planting Charging stations across African Cities and Highways. Mr. Ajaere says it would make it easier to adopt the EV because they are more likely to buy an EV if they know they can have access to charging stations.