GIG Logistics (GIGL) has taken the lead as first in the logistics industry in Nigeria to launch electric vehicle (EVs) for deliveries, starting with Lagos State.
This is happening after two years of GIGL’s strategic moves to ensure complete de-carbonization in its operations.
According to a report by Logistics and Supply Chain Industry published in 2018, the sector is recording a year on year growth.
The report showed the Nigerian logistics sector was valued at N250 billion, which represents a rise of N50 billion from 2017.
Infrastructure investment is key to the growth of the logistics industry, but there’s an obvious regional and national deficit in Nigeria’s Logistics infrastructure which hinders trade for micro and small businesses.
To this end, GIGL, a courier and logistics services company headquartered in Lagos, over the weekend, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with JET Motor Company, one of the fastest indigenous automobile assembly and distribution companies.
GIG Logistics said its ambitious move to deploy EVs for its operation was fueled by the need to eliminate carbon emissions, reduce cost and improve efficiency.
“This agreement started about two years ago when we reached out to Jet Motors to help us push our carbon-free initiative,” the Director of Operations Services and Hubs at GIGL, Ocholi Etu, said at the launch in Lagos.
“By carbon-free, I mean we are looking at having total electric vehicles do our deliveries all around Nigeria.”
Jet Motors has a plant along Epe in Lagos and has produced about 500 units of cars since its operation in 2018. Currently, the plant can produce between 5 to 7 vehicles in a day.
Battery life and charging stations
Although, the vehicles are uniquely designed to achieve operational efficiency using seamless blend of intelligence, efficient processes, and innovative technology, one thing that must be questioned is the lifespan and how long the battery lasts after a full charge.
Most manufacturers have a five to an eight-year warranty on their battery. However, the current prediction is that an electric car battery will last from 10 – 20 years before they need to be replaced.
“We are offering a five-year guarantee on the lifespan of the battery,” Jet Motors’ Director of Sales and Marketing, Rupani Sanjay, said at the launch.
He said the van can cover a distance of about 240km easily, factoring in the heavy traffic in the Lagos metropolis. “Under normal circumstances, the van can cover up to 300 km.”
Again, he allayed fears that the battery might gradually drain to the point that the car remains static after being stuck in traffic for many hours.
“Even if the EV spends hours on traffic, it’s just a tiny amount of reduction that occurs, let say 2 percent. It’s not just significant, so, there is no cause for alarm.”
According to GIGL, the 240 KM per charge was enough for a full day’s work in Lagos.
“People have asked me, what if you spend 10 hours in traffic, my reply is that the battery will not discharge at that same rate when the vehicle is stationary,” Etu said.
“So it means even if you spend 10 hours in traffic the rate of discharge will be like 2 percent. So you can easily cover 240 kilometers if the battery is fully charged”
GIG Logistics already built a charging station for its EVs at its headquarters in Lagos. The national average for installing a standard electric vehicle charging station ranges between $456 and $1,079, while the median cost is $763 each, according to checks by TechEconomy.
Is it a good decision for GIG Logistics to deploy EVs?
As far as actualizing a clean energy agenda, encouraging the use of modern technology, de-emphasize oil consumption, and also reducing air pollution issues are concerned, it is then a good step in the right direction.
The company believes that having EVs for delivery will eliminate certain complaints from drivers. For instance, delivery men and drivers will no longer complain that there is no fuel, or there is no oil. These complaints sometimes are drawbacks during operations.
However, it is not yet Uhuru as the vehicles are yet to start delivery. As long as the infrastructure is concerned, GIG Logistics will have to make provisions as a company. Although, the company hopes that government will start supporting by making infrastructure available.
“Government support is very important because of the poor infrastructure in the country,” said the Strategy and Projects Head, JET Motor Company, Oluwemimo Joseph.
He said the production of charging machines and establishing charging stations across the country is important.
GIG Logistics will have to be a bit worried about government readiness. Considering the pressing issues currently facing the country such as lack of power, it’s easy to mention that Nigeria is not ready for electric cars.
It was in 2019 that one of the lawmakers, Ben Murray-Bruce, from Bayelsa East Senatorial District proposed the Electric Car Bill. Although, the bill didn’t scale through, however, global tech trends show that EVs are inevitable.