There is currently research alongside other key partners interested in producing electric tricycles, and the company is awaiting for the economic viability before introducing them to the Nigerian market, the Managing Director, Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), Ibrahim Boyi has said.
He disclosed this when hosting a team from the National Defence College who were there as part of a national tour of strategic establishments on Monday at the PAN Learning Centre, Kaduna.
According to him, the company is is working with key stakeholders in developing the technology.
“We are bringing our experience, expertise and funds to making this work. We are not just working on electric cars at the Peugeot head office in France, autonomous cars are also being researched upon,” he said.
Boyi explained that regulators are still coming up with guidelines on such technologies, but that the company is also discussing with partners on automobiles that use alternative fossil fuels and other alternative fuels like CNG.
“Because converting a car that uses CNG costs about $1,000, it is not economical to convert right now,” he said.
He explained that moving from a type of fueling to another goes through several processes, including the economic factors.
“If you want to set up CNG plant, how do you go about it. Even those that use LPG for cooking, have problems. We are following up and once any research makes economic sense, we adopt it, he said
On how the company survives with the power situation in the country, he said that power companies give them fairly relative power supply.
“In house we have six megawatts of power generated in our plant here. It alongside water supply encourages us to offer facility for cluster development so we can also all leverage on it,” he said.
According to him, though power is not a challenge, but the cost of generating in house power is a challenge.
“Our in-house power costs us N70 per kilowatt, but the public power costs us about N25 per kilowatt,” he disclosed.
He lamented that presently, only about 20 per cent of the production capacity us functional.
“We are using less than 20 per cent of our infrastructure. We sit on 33 hectares of land, we have allocated land to clusters, for others interested. For each new vehicle into be produced, you need to make new investments.
He blamed slow progress being recorded on the present ownership structure of the company.
“Ownership of the company which for now is transit, is one of the challenges because AMCON the present owners are just bidding time to get buyers, sell the company and move on,” he added.
Boyi said it was untrue that maintenance of Peugeot is expensive, adding that people who say Peugeot is expensive to maintain, probably went to the wrong place for repairs or bought fake parts.
“We recommend authorised centres where the best is offered,” he added.
On capacity building, he said that the PAN Learning Centre is training several youth brought in from several areas for training by NGOs, state governments and UNDP.
In response to the welcome address of PAN MD, the Team Leader of the National Defence College, Air Commodore Sunday Makinde said that the company was selected for the study tour of strategic establishments across the country.
He said PAN was selected because of its excellent management and sustainable operations against all odds and has been a very good Nigerian company.