Having started exploring the idea of electric vehicles and alternatives to petrol powered vehicles in Africa in early 2016 Gray’s Derbyshire Associates of London are now in a position to pioneer bringing e-vehicles or electric three wheelers to Africa’s largest economy – Nigeria.
At the outset, many doubted the viability of the electric vehicle market in Africa and that any one organisation would be able to cause a disruption to the market due to the one main obstacle that has dogged Nigeria and on a wider scale Africa for many years – An insufficient and unstable electricity supply.
Since then Gray’s Derbyshire has been working hard to develop an electric tuk tuk to replace the commonly used and well known Keke Nepaps (as they are known in Nigeria) with a fit for purpose, safer, and 0% emission three wheeler for passenger transport and cargo for the African market.
After just over one year of extensive research and after months of negotiations and talks with numerous electric three wheeler providers across the globe from China and India where the largest combustion three wheelers are manufactured, Gray’s Derbyshire managed to find and team up with Europe’s largest electric three wheeler manufacturer, Tuk Tuk Factory of the Netherlands. Together, GD and TTF through Drive Electric in Nigeria discovered the ‘E-Safari vehicle’ for Africa.
TTF as they are more commonly known were the most obvious choice for GD, being Europe’s largest electric three wheelers manufacturers, and a forward thinking vehicle manufacturer, they fitted in completely with our ethos at Gray’s, that being a clean air vision for Nigeria and Africa more widely.
Emmanuel Osammor JNR, CEO at Gray’s Derbyshire Associates and Founder of Drive Electric NG explained, ‘Nigeria will be our first destination for the electric three wheelers and we aim to be on the ground in Nigeria by last quarter 2018. This really is a big deal for Nigeria as the country has never had electric three wheelers properly functioning on the ground and just as importantly the charging solutions to run them.
Unfortunately, although Nigeria is soaring ahead on a global stage, being Africa’s highest GDP surpassing South Africa and home to some excellent multinational firms such as UBER, it lets itself down in other areas such as accommodating four of the most air polluted cities in the world with PM10 levels way above the WHO recommended levels.
One of the main objectives of the electric three wheelers will be to help to alleviate these dangerous levels affecting much of the population’.
‘We found Nigeria a perfect destination for electric three wheelers, they will help to cut air pollution with 0% emissions, help to create sustainable jobs, lower running costs for owners, reduce the cost of transport for millions, reduce noise, increase safety and lastly reduce reliance on petrol in the country which the current government in Nigeria has put on their main agenda since coming to power in 2105 – It’s complete no brainer for local governments and business owners alike’.
Fully aware of the scarcity of stable electricity GD alongside its partners Tuk Tuk Factory devised a solution to power and charge their electric three wheelers in all urban and rural areas largely where the electric three wheelers will be used the most.
‘We want to allow our electric three wheelers owners the freedom to recharge their vehicle batteries conveniently wherever and whenever needed, just like any petrol powered vehicle would be able to do in a petrol station.’
We are currently investing in electric three wheelers in Nigeria looking at infrastructure and development of charging solutions for electric three wheelers on the ground. We envisage investment in infrastructure and charge solutions to be fully developed, functional and ready to provide efficient service by end of 2018 ready for our first imported batch of electric three wheelers assembled in Nigeria in 2018’.
Name: Emmanuel Osammor
Tel: 07967 670 747 or 07757 055 367
Gray’s Derbyshire Associates Limited is the parent company of Drive Electric in Nigeria