Tesla the American electric car and clean-energy company is reportedly planning to introduce its batteries to the Nigerian market. The battery, called a Power Wall, is a renewable energy source that can power homes and businesses in Nigeria, including those in remote areas.
It certainly makes sense that Tesla would venture into a market like ours, since our electricity distribution companies are less than optimal. The distribution companies have been (rightly) plagued with numerous complaints, from terrible service to unsustainable tariffs not forgeting the yearly fuel scarcity that plagues the nation due to power plays by the powers that be.
Nigeria’s electricity distribution companies, it turns out, are actually nervous that Tesla’s advent will lead to a decrease in customers, especially in the industrial sector. Corporates turning to alternative sources of power has already cost the distribution companies $196.23million. While discussing with a top chinese industrialist last year about the prospect of chinese companies coming to Nigeria to set up plants so as to cut out the cost of importing many of these products we buy from China, She simply said that Nigeria doesn’t have light and with that short answer alone I couldn’t continue the discussion.
According to the director general of the Bureau of Public Enterprise(BPE), Alex Okoh:
“They (DisCos) lacked the capacity to improve infrastructures. TESLA’s introduction could take advantage of palpable outrage in a country where over 190 million people share barely 400MW of power.”
TESLA batteries can store solar energy and serve as a backup system for consumers during lights out, or replace the grid completely. That aside, we do think that the distribution companies’ fears are still a little premature.
Firstly, many Nigerians will likely not make the switch to using Power Walls for the simple fact that they’re expensive. The energy company will sell at 7kwh for $3000 (about 1.1 million naira) while the 10kwh will retail for $3500 (around 1.3 million naira) to installers.
Secondly, there is no set timeline for Power Wall’s introduction into Nigeria, so they likely have some more time to exploit consumers — or, in a less likely option, make plans to also act as retailers for Tesla in Nigeria. DisCos could actually become power suppliers for people who cannot afford it.
It is worthy to note that Tesla is owned by a South African born Elon Musk who is hell bent on solving problems in the society.