EV Taxi Launches Electric Fleet In Nigeria

Mohammed Shosanya

EV Taxi, a leader in innovative transportation solutions, has announced the launch of its electric taxi fleet, a revolutionary transport service offering seamless point-to-point transportation from anywhere within Abuja to the airport and vice-versa.

The company explained that there are plans to extend its services to Lagos and other cities in Nigeria in the coming months.

The company said in a statement that,the e-taxi service aims to reduce the burden of transport cost for Nigerians while also addressing the problem of climate change and the growing demand for reliable and convenient travel options in Nigeria.

It added:”With the e-taxi service, Nigerians can now book an all-electric, zero carbon emission, whisper-quiet ride through the company’s website or by simply placing a call to the dedicated hotline.

“Today marks a new chapter in the era of green transportation in Nigeria,” said Lanre Ashaolu, the CEO of EV Taxi. EVs are a sustainable alternative to our traditional carbon-emitting vehicles that are quickly going out of fashion .

“Our goal at EV Taxi is to provide Nigerians with a seamless, affordable, climate-friendly travel experience that meets the demands of modern-day living.”

“The introduction of the e-taxi service comes at a pivotal moment for Nigerians, as the country continues to evolve into a hub of innovation and progress.

“With its focus on affordability, eco-friendliness, convenience, and reliability, EV Taxi is setting new standards for public transport in Nigeria.

“In conjunction with the launch of its electric taxi service, EV Taxi is also recruiting passionate and dedicated drivers to join its team.

“Interested individuals are invited to submit their CV to recruitment@evtaxi.ng to become a part of the first team of ‘green drivers’ committed to delivering exceptional e-taxi service.”

TotalEnergies Unveils In-Depot Charging For Electric Trucks

      Mohammed Shosanya
 TotalEnergies announced the launch of an in-depot electric truck charging service today at the SOLUTRANS road and urban transportation trade show.
TotalEnergies will install and supervise customized charging infrastructure adapted to transporters’ needs to support their transition to electric mobility with the new solution,a statement said.
TotalEnergies has developed an in-depot charging service that comprises the installation and supervision of charge points that offer an efficient, tailored response to transporters’ specific needs.
The solution includes:Charge points, which optimize the time trucks are parked in the depot (generally 12 hours) to effectively recharge the battery to 100%.
Ultra-Fast charge points (up to 400 kW) for extra charging needs.
In an end-to-end approach, TotalEnergies will work with customers to determine the size of charging infrastructure needed for their fleets, install the charge points and supply green electricity, provide management and supervision tools along with a smart charging solution to optimize fleet charging, and offer 24/7 customer support.
To serve transporters’ charging needs outside their depots, TotalEnergies will also install charge points along Europe’s road corridors starting in 2024. These will include high power charge points (HPC1) during mandatory breaks on long trips and slow charge points at rest areas to charge while drivers are sleeping.
“In order to decarbonize road transportation on a large scale, is critical to develop infrastructure and provide transporters with low-carbon solutions. Backed by our close ties with the transport sector and our strong position in electric mobility in Europe, TotalEnergies has developed a solution tailored to transporters’ needs to support them in their fleet management and energy transition,” said Mathieu Soulas, Senior Vice President New Mobilities & Marketing at TotalEnergies.
Nigeria Loses N150bn To Importation Of Substandard Automobile Batteries

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria loses over N150 billion annually to import of fake, low grade automobile batteries into the country,the President of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative,Mr. Samuel Oloyede Oriowo,has said.

Oriowo,who disclosed this in a statement ahead of the group’s second edition of its award ceremony slated, lamented undue influx of various low grade classifications of automobile batteries in the country.

He implored President Bola Tinubu to take positive actions and prioritize the production of automobile parts locally to save the country of seriously needed foreign exchange and stop boosting foreign economies at the expense of the home country.

“The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) charged with the duties of prior certification of goods being imported into the country; especially automobile spare parts, lubricants and allied products should double-up in their efforts at preventing low grade automobile batteries into the country as the low quality batteries could be harmful to motorists and commuters health; aside being economic drain pipes, the batteries’ life span are below 12 months instead of about 48 months and more as globally recommended.”

Oriowo explained that the essence of the forthcoming second Nigeria Annual Automotive Industry Award is to keep encouraging excellence and to celebrate the best and the brightest of the stakeholders, their products and services in the country.

FRSC Announces 23% Reduction In Road Traffic Deaths

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has announced 23.1% reduction in road traffic deaths between January and September 2023, compared with the same period in 2022.

Bisi Kazeem, the Assistant Corps Marshal
Corps Public Education Officer, who disclosed this in a statement,said that the Corps also recorded a substantial reduction in the total number of road traffic crashes (RTC), injuries and fatalities as well, having achieved 22% reduction in RTCs, 21.3% decrease in road injuries.

According to FRSC road traffic crash dashboard, within the period under consideration, the Corps recorded a total of 7830 road traffic crashes as against 10039 in the same period in the year 2022, representing 22% decrease.

It said,from January to September 2023, the Corps also achieved 21.3% reduction in number of people rescued with injuries, having rescued a total of 22580 in 2023 against 28698 injured victims from January to September of the year 2022.

On the number of people killed, the Corps also recorded significant reduction within the operational period.

The crash data report said,in the first 9 months of the year 2023, the Corps recorded a total of 3730 fatalities as against 4848 in the same period in 2022, representing 23.1% reduction.

The statement said:”It is expedient to inform the public that the highest achievement was recorded in the third quarter 2023 (July to September). In the 3rd quarter, the Corps reduced RTCs by 37.6% having reduced crashes from 3412 in 2022 to 2130 in 2023. Road traffic Injuries were also reduced from 9258 in 2022 to 5864 in 2023 representing 36.7% reduction while road traffic deaths were also reduced from 1470 in 2022 to 880 in 2023, representing 40% reduction in number of people killed.

“On this note, it is pertinent to state that this significant decrease was achieved due to enhanced visibility on the highways, aggressive public education, broadened and expanded Command structures, injection of more patrol, rescue and recovery vehicles into the operations of the Corps for prompt rescue services and speedy removal of obstructions, and of course, deployment of men and logistics to areas hitherto uncovered”

Treepz Partners Sabinus On Campus Tours

Mohammed Shosanya

Treepz, Africa’s leading car rental and sharing marketplace,has announced partnership with Sabinus, Africa’s comedy giant, for a highly anticipated campus tour in three universities: UNIPORT, UNEC, and UNILAG this October.

The campus tour is scheduled to kick off from October 11th, 2023 to October 26th, 2023 and will be making stops at various campuses across Nigeria.

This remarkable event is expected to captivate university students and youths, promising unforgettable experiences for all in attendance,a statement said.

Onyeka Akuma, CEO and Co-Founder of Treepz expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating:”We are delighted to partner with Sabinus, a dynamic influencer who shares our vision of creating memorable experiences for individuals. Students require hassle-free and reliable transportation options for different uses such as attending graduation ceremonies, tours and excursions and event attendance. With the largest selection of rental vehicles on our platform, we are committed to providing seamless, convenient, and cost-effective mobility solutions, empowering students to make the most of their university years and beyond.”

Nancy Nwachukwu, Director of Sponsorships and Partnerships at Sabinus Campus Tour,said:”Our collaboration with Treepz perfectly aligns with our mission to enhance campus life. By enhancing students’ access to reliable transportation, we aim to amplify their campus experiences, fostering lasting memories.”

This tour welcomes all university students from the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, the University of Lagos, and the University of Portharcourt to join in the excitement, promising endless fun and fantastic surprises.

According to a statement,participants can look forward to incredible prizes, including,gift vouchers of N20,000 with a validity of 1 year,10% discount on all car rentals using the code SABICA23, valid for 1 year and cash prizes.

FRSC Records Reduction In Fatalities,Road Crashes In First Half

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Road Safety Corps has recorded a decline in the total number of road traffic crashes, total number of injuries and fatalities as well in the first half of the year,compared with the same period in 2022.

Bisi Kazeem,Assistant Corps MarshalCorps Public Education Officer,FRSC Headquarters, Abuja,quoted in a statement that,within the period under consideration, the Corps recorded a total of 5,700 road traffic crashes as against 6,627 in the same period in the year 2022, representing 14% decrease.

It said,between January and June 2023, the Corps also achieved 14% reduction in number of people rescued with injuries, having rescued a total of 16,716 in 2023 against 19,440 injured victims in the first half of the year 2022.

The Corps also recorded significant reduction within the operational period in the number of people killed.

According to the statement,in the first six months of the year 2023, the Corps recorded a total of 2,850 fatalities as against 3,375 in the same period in 2022, representing 15.5% reduction.

The statement quoted the Corps Marshal to have attributed this modest achievement to a number of strategies and innovations in enforcement activities, improved presence and visibility, public enlightenment and partners engagement.

Charging drivers to desist from bad driving behaviours, Corps Marshal, Dauda Ali Biu re-emphasised the commitment of the Corps towards achieving it’s corporate mandate of sanitizing the highways and entrenching safety on the nations over 200,000 kilometers road network.

Fixit45 Gets $1.9m Pre-Seed Investment To Transform Africa’s Automotive Industry

Mohammed Shosanya

Fixit45, a leading player in the automotive technology aftermarket sector, proudly announces the successful conclusion of its pre-seed funding round, securing a substantial $1.9 million in equity and working capital.

The funding round was spearheaded by Launch Africa Ventures, Africa’s most active VC investment firm, and featured participation from distinguished investors such as Soumobroto Ganguly and Dave Delucia, along with a diverse group of angel investors.

This infusion of capital marks a significant milestone as Fixit45 sets out to expand its footprint and influence within Africa’s automotive aftermarket industry.

The company has earmarked these funds for strategic expansion plans, with a particular focus on its automotive repair business, while concurrently intensifying efforts in spare parts distribution via its online-to-offline platform, xparts.africa. Additionally, Fixit45 is gearing up for market entry into East Africa, notably targeting Kenya and Uganda.

Pankaj Bohhra, Co-founder & COO of Fixit45, expressed his excitement about the financial support, stating, “This funding represents a pivotal moment for Fixit45. We are profoundly grateful to our investors for their faith in our vision and our unwavering commitment to revolutionizing the African automotive aftermarket sector. With this capital infusion, we are well-positioned to advance towards our expansion objectives.”

Enhancing the accessibility and availability of top-quality automotive spare parts is a central component of Fixit45’s expansion strategy.

The company seeks to optimize the supply chain, ensuring that both individual consumers and businesses within the automotive sector benefit from streamlined processes.
East Africa Market Entry

Fixit45’s expansion strategy encompasses East Africa, with a primary focus on penetrating markets in Kenya and Uganda.

With the region experiencing substantial growth in the automotive industry, Fixit45 is poised to establish a robust presence, providing essential auto services and spare parts to meet the evolving demands of local customers.

The participation of Launch Africa Ventures, Soumobroto Ganguly, Dave Delucia, and a diverse group of angel investors underscores their confidence in Fixit45’s business model and its potential for growth. These investors bring not only financial support but also invaluable expertise and networks that will further propel the company’s expansion endeavors.

Janade du Plessis and Zachariah George, Co-Managing Partners at Launch Africa Ventures, expressed their excitement about the partnership, stating:”We are thrilled to collaborate with Fixit45 in transforming the African automotive aftermarket. Fixit45 boasts a formidable team, and its platform offers a seamless experience across the automotive aftermarket value chain. We are impressed by their unwavering commitment to excellence, compliance, and accountability. We have every confidence that the company is well-prepared to achieve its ambitious goals.”

Fixit45’s triumphant pre-seed funding round marks a significant milestone in its journey.

Armed with a clear vision and a strategic allocation of resources, Fixit45 is poised to make a profound impact on the automotive aftermarket sector, ultimately benefiting customers not only in Nigeria but also in East Africa and beyond.

The escalating demand for quality automotive repair and maintenance services, driven by the aging vehicle fleet and road conditions in Nigeria, has spurred Fixit45, a tech-enabled automotive platform, to embark on a mission to redefine the automotive industry narrative.

Founded in 2021, Fixit45 boasts an impressive network of 300+ operational workshops spread across nine Nigerian cities, including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Ilorin, Enugu, Owerri, and Jos, serving nearly 4,000 clients.

Besides,Fixit45 collaborates with 1,200 spare parts manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, forming partnerships with industry leaders such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, Ford, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Mikano, GAC Motors and many other prominent distributors.

The company also enjoys a solid customer base, including Mano, Drive45, Moove, Jotna, Gokada, FBN Quest, Jiji, Pepsico, Prestige Assurance and Chellerams Plc.

The African automotive industry was valued at US$ 30.44 billion in 2021 and is predicted to reach US$ 42.06 billion by 2027.

The automotive aftermarket industry plays a pivotal role in many African economies, contributing to economic growth, road safety improvement, and enhanced quality of life. Reliable mobility is a catalyst for social and economic inclusion, facilitating access to employment, education, and public services.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data, Nigeria, with an estimated population of 200 million, boasts over 12 million registered vehicles, of which 90% are imported and pre-owned, representing a motorization rate of just 0.06 vehicles per person.

The Nigerian automotive aftermarket industry remains fragmented, with informal service providers often lacking technical competence and warranty support for repairs.

With the escalating costs of purchasing new or foreign-used vehicles, a growing trend has emerged, with vehicle owners preferring to upgrade and repair their existing vehicles to enhance their mobility assets and trade-in value. This shift highlights the need for high-quality repair and maintenance services in the market.

FG Considers Electric Vehicles For Mass Transit Scheme

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Ministry of Transportation is considering the introduction of electric vehicles into the proposed mass transit scheme in the country on account of recent withdrawal of fuel subsidy.

The Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Ahmed Alkali,who disclosed this on Tuesday,when he resumed duty at the Ministry’s headquarter in Abuja,added that plans are underway to reintroduce mass transit system in Nigeria.

He promised to ensure a sustainable collaboration with related ministries, agencies and corporate entities to reactivate the road transport and mass transit operations in the country.

He explained that with the current hike of transportation fare in the country, the ministry focus would be on policies that will encourage reduction in the cost of movement for both passengers and cargo.

He said:”Similarly, I will under careful study of prevailing economic trends, undertake the provision, modernization, rehabilitation, planning and development of the rail transport sector with efficient security services to support the realization of primary purpose of government.

“This initiative will no doubt maximize the potentials embodied in the recent Constitutional alterations that moved rail transport services from the exclusive list to the concurrent list. It will also reduce the frequent menace on our roads characterized with accidents, kidnappings and armed robbery”.

He stated that the Ministry of Transport must assume a leading role of improving the public transportation sector to support the numerous policies that are geared towards providing democratic dividends that are accessible to ordinary Nigerians through effective provision of public transport that is secured, affordable and convenient across the country.

He added:”It is important to state that the Federal Ministry of Transportation remains among the few Ministries that were established and, continue in existence from colonial period to date with little modification of name given its strategic place as gateway to the nation’s economy.

“This might probably explains why the Ministry is undergoing restructuring in response to emerging national economic challenges that require the services of the Ministry” .

He pledged that his administration will strive to ensure the realization of ministry’s mandate and the mandates of agencies under its jurisdiction.

He added:”This endeavour will assist to harness the resources of the nation, promote national prosperity and dynamic self-reliant economy that will actualize the “Renewed Hope” of the present administration’s developmental agenda of ensuring an efficient transport system consistent with the socio-economic objectives of the constitution”.

Fire Risks:Hyundai,Kia Recall 91,000 US Vehicles

Mohammed Shosanya

Hyundai Motor and Kia are recalling more than 91,000 newer vehicles in the U.S. because of fire risks and urged owners to park outside and away from structures pending repairs.

The recall covers Hyundai 2023-2024 Palisade, 2023 Tucson, Sonata, Elantra, and Kona vehicles and 2023-2024 Seltos and 2023 Kia Soul, Sportage vehicles. About 52,000 Hyundai vehicles and nearly 40,000 Kia vehicles are covered under the recall,the automakers said on Thursday.

According to the Korean automakers, electronic controllers for the Idle Stop & Go oil pump assembly may contain damaged electrical components that can cause the pump to overheat. Owners will be notified in late September and dealers will inspect and replace the electric oil pump controller as needed.

Kia said it has six reports of potentially related thermal events but no accidents or injuries while Hyundai has four similar reports. The automakers told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a suspect part was eliminated from production in March.

Uber Launches Emergency On-Trip Assistance, Audio Recording In Nigeria

Mohammed Shosanya

Uber has launched an emergency in-app support for drivers and riders in Nigeria in partnership with Sety, signalling improved commitment to leveraging technology to raise the bar on safety in the country

The company will soon launch Audio Recording in the country.

Speaking at its launch in Lagos, Tope Akinwumi, Country Manager for Uber in Nigeria, explained that safety is a core priority for the business.

He added:“Safety is at the heart of what we do at Uber and over the years, we have invested heavily in technology and other measures to help keep drivers and riders safe on the platform.

“Sety is proud to partner with Uber in Nigeria, in empowering riders and drivers with our on-trip emergency response service. Our collaboration with Uber underscores our shared commitment to prioritising and utilising digital technology to enhance safety of our customers and partners, thus ensuring the well-being of all Nigerians as a whole” says Nnamdi Melie, CEO, Sety.

According to him,riders and drivers can access the Safety Toolkit by tapping the shield icon on their app’s map screen.

He said:”After tapping the Emergency Assistance feature, you will see your GPS location, car make and model, and licence plate.If you tap the “Call Security” button and connect to a private emergency services and security responder, those trip details become available to them digitally and can be used to respond to an emergency.

“After your contact with the emergency services, Uber’s customer support team will check in to see if you’re alright”

Uber will soon launch audio recording which allows riders and drivers to use the app to record and share audio of their trip as evidence in the case of a safety incident – something that drivers have been asking for based on their feedback from roundtable sessions.

The new opt-in audio recording feature has been successful in South Africa where over 3 400 drivers and 80 000 riders who use the Uber app set up the feature during the pilot period.

Uber believes the new audio recording feature will improve the overall quality of evidence collected on the safety incidents that are reported by both riders and drivers.

This means that both riders and drivers will have the ability to record the trip and submit their recordings alongside the safety tickets they’ll submit. By logging a safety incident along with a recording, the rider or driver gives Uber permission to access the file for investigation purposes.

“We are putting safety at the heart of everything we do and always looking at ways to improve safety on the platform. Not only are we passionate about helping people travel from point A to B, we are committed to being a leading safety innovator, using new technology to improve safety standards for all riders and drivers operating on our platform”, added Akinwumi.