The United States Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Marisa Lago has insisted that the availability of supportive infrastructure such as charging stations is crucial for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Nigeria or any other country in Africa.
Lago stated this as part of a remark he made at the Microsoft Garage Electric Vehicle Hackathon in Lagos two days ago.
He argued that the availability of charging stations is a fundamental aspect of the enabling environment for the Electric Vehicles industry to thrive. But, there is a chicken-and-egg conundrum since companies are not likely to invest in charging infrastructure until there’s a critical mass of Electric Vehicles drivers.
“There is the need for supportive infrastructure such as charging stations as individuals will be reluctant to buy Electric Vehicles until there is a reasonable recharging infrastructure,” he said.
He noted that this argument is central and a reflection of the feedback he got from companies and stakeholders committed to achieving widespread Electric Vehicles adoption, which he believes will help to combat the climate crisis and facilitate the clean energy transition, creating new economy jobs in the process.
He also highlighted three other factors that could help the adoption of Electric Vehicles. They are:
The cost of EVs is still relatively high compared to conventional vehicles, which remains another significant barrier. Can these costs be reduced through local manufacturing, targeted investment in R&D, or collaborations with industry leaders from around the world to achieve economies of scale?
To attract both domestic and foreign players in the sector, it will be critical to have a supportive regulatory framework of consistent policies, standards and regulations that are aligned with international best practices that encourage investment and innovation.
In addition to advancing EV technology, we must equip the workforce with the education and skills necessary to support the growth of the industry. A skilled workforce can fill the employment opportunities generated by the growth of the sector, positioning Nigeria as a regional hub for manufacturing, maintenance and technology development.