This Nigerian EV entrepreneur hopes to go head to head with Tesla

The first, introduced in 2021, is a 12-seat bus constructed from a number of locally sourced materials. It has a range of 212 kilometers and can be charged in 35 minutes via a solar-powered system integrated into the back. In a recent test run funded by the company, the buses transported 35,000 passengers in Maiduguri in just one month. 

Deborah Maidawa, an electrical building services engineer who lives in Maiduguri, believes Gajibo’s EVs are a good way to meet local needs. “Incorporating solar gives the vehicles an edge over other EVs that are springing up, and I believe they will flood the Nigerian market,” she says.

A brand-new gas-powered passenger minibus with automatic transmission can cost nearly 5 million naira (about $10,000). Gajibo says it will cost around the same to buy one of his solar-powered 12-seaters. He plans to roll out 500 units across eight Nigerian cities in the coming months and hopes this time he’ll be able to sell them. 

“Our products are quite affordable, and the cost of the vehicle is one of the major things we put into consideration,” he says. “The only way to achieve that is by fully designing and building these vehicles locally.”

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