BY MIKE OCHONMA
Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has given thumbs up to the Hyundai Kona electric car assembled in Nigeria, describing it as a fantastic machine. He made the remark after test-driving the car during his recent tour of made-in-Nigeria products at the opening ceremony of a five-day Nigeria @ 60 Expo being held at the Eagle Square, Abuja. The event is organized by the Inter-ministerial committee on Nigeria @ 60 in collaboration with Business Visa and Training Co Ltd.
Speaking with newsmen afterwards, Osinbajo expressed excitement at the innovation and said he was hopeful of a bright future for Nigeria. “A very good drive; fantastic; it just shows what is possible,” he enthused, adding, “I am glad to see that this is an assembled-in-Nigeria electric car. “You can literally charge it anywhere; I think it is a very fantastic innovation; fantastic product, and I can tell because I drove it.” Not being discouraged by the infrastructural challenges in the country, Stallion Group, Nigeria’s exclusive assembler and distributors of Hyundai brand, rolled out Hyundai Kona, the nation’s first ever Electric Vehicle (EV) in conjugation with Hyundai Motors Nigeria, purposely to embark on the attitudinal change for a clean environment. And Hyundai Motors Nigeria recognized this paradigm shift in the transportation sector by bringing in electric mobility that is a step towards the same goal. Assembled in Stallion group’s VON Assembly plant at Ojo, Lagos and launched into the local market late 2020, Nigeria’s first ever electric car has since attracted kudos from various government functionaries, including the National Assembly. 100% electric with zero carbon emission, the Kona can go up to a range of 482 km with an acceleration of (0-100kms) in 9.7 seconds on a single battery cycle of a capacity of 64 KWH. The ease of charging is unmatched and can be plugged in at home or work for 9.35 hours for a full battery.
Since debuted worldwide, KONA Electric has been widely lauded for its class-leading driving range, fast-charging capability, safety and convenience features. Though an EV, Kona comes with some of the safety features that are not even available in cars powered by the traditionally known internal combustion engine (ICE).
For instance, aside multiple safety airbags, it comes with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), which uses the car’s front-facing camera and radar to help detect an imminent collision and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking autonomously, thanks to the new Hyundai SmartSense safety technologies. No wonder, the Kona went through the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) carried out by the United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and was awarded the highest safety rating of 5 stars. Kona is so smart that it is capable of sensing road markings, using lane keeping assist (LKA), which helps to prevent accidental lane departure and may automatically steer the car if required. This first EV to be locally assembled in Nigeria also comes with driver attention warning (DAW), which monitors the owner/driver’s driving patterns.
It even detects drowsy or inattentive driving and alerts the driver with a sound cue and warning message on the instrument panel. Additional safety technologies in the vehicle include Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Rear Cross Traffic Warning (RCCW). No wonder, it recorded a first-rate crash test result