Nigerian Hybrid Car Enthusiast Adebola Odenike Seeks to Tackle Congestion and Pollution

Nigerian Hybrid car enthusiast Adebola Odenike wants to tackle congestion and pollution in Nigeria to provide clean energy.

Lagos, in 2016, was named as one of the cities in Nigeria with the worst PM10 levels due to severe pollution and recurring loud gridlock traffic. The majority of cars in Lagos are either run by petrol or diesel but such vehicles discharge toxic gases and lead to global warming.

Public Health Specialist, Ayodeji Odunsi says that: ‘Most of those fumes you see coming out of the exhaust contains carbon monoxide. Now when the lungs are packed full of all these things there is not enough oxygen in the system.’

The Nigerian government introduced the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) in 2013 to revitalise the auto industry.

Last year, the policy came into full effect. Multinational professional services company PwC, developed various scenarios to capture the potential effects of the policy. Nigeria was identified as a future automotive hub driven by its large economy, population and government’s intent to revive the industry.

In 2015, PwC developed various scenarios on vehicle sales based on government support and GDP growth rate. It was found that

Globally, the auto industry is currently experiencing change spurred by disruptive technology. Trends including driverless cars, electric powered cars, and ride sharing are revolutionising the industry. In Nigeria, there are various ride-sharing apps such as Uber, EasyTaxi, GoMyWay and Jekalo which have become quite popular. Already Uber has made over a million trips in Nigeria in the last two years. This trend could potentially fast-track Nigeria’s path to becoming an automotive hub, potentially boosting sales of new and used vehicles as individuals take advantage of partnering with these companies to gain extra income.

Nigeria’s automotive industry is expected to grow by approximately five percent. Managing Director of Toyota Nigeria limited, Ade Ojo (TNL) says “This year, a lot of companies were very careful because of the economic recession. They buy vehicles that would help improve the productivity of their businesses. As the economy improves, so will there be balancing of sales across the models and vehicle segments.”

According to Ojo, Hilux (the number one selling Toyota model) contributes between 60 and 70 percent of sales with TNL selling 1,200 out of 1,900 Hilux vehicle sales.

Air pollution is not only viewed in Nigeria but across the entire continent, as a major issue. Main contributing factors include pollution from solid fuels for cooking, burning waste, and traffic pollution from old cars.

Odenike recently taught himself to be a mechanic in response to the air pollution in Nigeria. He wants to understand how vehicles work to effect change. He says:

‘I started for my love for inverters, solar, renewable energy which is where I moved onto hybrid vehicles.’

Hybrids have been around since 1977 with the launch of Prius but only a few hybrid cars have made their way to Nigeria. According to broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, Odenike has been delegated by the local community as one of the administrators involved in bringing hybrid cars to Nigeria.

He mentions that: ‘We offer support to hybrid users nationwide. It’s not for a fee but for us to all encourage ourselves and to exchange information. We have over 86 members.’

Hybrid cars are being viewed as a step for change with the rise of people thinking ‘green’ and to help fight global warming. Hybrids, in fact, combine gas and electric motors with the purpose of increasing a vehicle’s fuel efficiency and decreasing its emissions. Hybrids can be great for city driving using electric motors which power the cars, drawing on the battery for the power (up to 15mph the vehicle uses only the electrical motor for power).

It is not clear on the number of hybrid vehicles that are in Africa but there is definitely an interest.

According to Business Service News, Hybrid Cars market report covers major regions like Americas, APAC, Europe, Africa and emerging countries like USA, India, Japan, China. Purchase a full report of the hybrid market here.

Toyota continues to make efforts to produce more affordable hybrid cars and with South Africa and Nigeria growing an interest in hybrid technology, it seems to be an attractive proposition. Find out more from about Toyota Hybrids here.

Odenike hopes that in the future vehicles on Nigerian roads will be either hybrid or fully electric.

Find out more about what Odenike is trying to achieve here.