High cost affecting electric vehicle adoption –US under-secretary

The relatively high cost of electric vehicles is a significant barrier to their adoption, the US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Marisa Lago, has said.

According to her, there needs to be conversations around whether these costs can be reduced through local manufacturing, targeted investments in research and development or collaborations with industry leaders from across the world.

She said this during a recent brainstorming session for Microsoft’s Electric Vehicle Hackathon, which is billed to be held soon.

She noted that the transition to EVs presented a tremendous opportunity to drive innovation in the automotive sector and provide good-paying jobs for Nigerians, while simultaneously addressing climate change and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

Lago stated, “The reality, though, is that to fully realise this potential, we must identify and overcome the barriers that are standing in our way. Today’s discussion and the work undertaken throughout the hackathon will illuminate the challenges and generate novel solutions.

“Of one thing I am certain, the full design and implementation of your solutions will require close collaboration among public and private sector stakeholders and the research community.”
She further noted that there was a need for supportive infrastructure, such as charging stations that would support the widespread adoption of EVs.

According to her, a supportive regulatory framework of consistent policies, standards, and regulations would help to attract both domestic and foreign players in the sector.

Lago added, “Fourth, in addition to advancing EV technology, we must equip the workforce with the education and skills necessary to support the growth of the industry. A skilled workforce can fill the employment opportunities generated by the growth of the sector, positioning Nigeria as a regional hub for manufacturing, maintenance, and technology development.”

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