This Nigerian electric vehicle entrepreneur hopes to take on Tesla
The first, introduced in 2021, is a 12-seater bus constructed from a number of locally sourced materials. It has a range of 212 kilometers and can be recharged in 35 minutes via an integrated solar system at the rear. In a recent company-funded trial, the buses transported 35,000 passengers to Maiduguri in just one month.
Deborah Maidawa, a building electrical engineer who lives in Maiduguri, thinks Gajibo’s electric vehicles are a good way to meet local needs. “The integration of solar power gives the vehicles an edge over other electric vehicles that are popping up, and I think they will flood the Nigerian market,” she says.
A brand new gasoline-powered passenger minibus with automatic transmission can cost almost 5 million naira (about $10,000). Gajibo says it will cost about the same to buy one of his 12 solar-powered seats. It plans to roll out 500 units to eight Nigerian cities in the coming months and hopes to sell them this time.
“Our products are quite affordable, and the cost of the vehicle is one of the main things we look at,” he says. “The only way to do that is to design and build these vehicles entirely locally.”
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