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Emerging trends in automobiles, safer environment, fuel efficiency

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The automotive industry is presently undergoing utmost transformation. This new global trend is a crucial aspect of a digitally-enabled merging of social, and technological forces to ignite an outburst of innovation in the global transportation arena.

Considering the size of the industry, the sector has the power to influence the direction in which humanity and social welfare will progress in future.
Technology-driven trends have always been revolutionizing the way in which automotive industry players react to the changing behaviour of consumers, build partnerships, and bring about change.

It’s not surprising that there is a gradual increase in the number of electric vehicles. Few years down the lane, more models will get into mass production. With the declining non-renewable energy crisis facing the world at present, a few manufacturers are optimising the advantages of possessing leadership in the electric car industry.

However, industry experts and professionals are forecasting that electric cars will soon become more cost-effective and popular than diesel and petrol models.

Following the recent trend all over the world to curb environmental and health hazards arising from pollution caused by vehicles’ hydrocarbon emission, the Federal Government, under a joint effort by the Federal Ministries of Environment, Petroleum Resources, Industry, Trade and Investment as well as United Nations and Global Fuel Economy Initiative, is planning stringent measures against worsening level of pollution in Nigeria.

An actionable aspect of the stringent measures to be taken would be the implementation of high tax and tariffs regime on the importation of used vehicles. What this would mean for car users is that the importation of used vehicles popularly known as Tokunbo, which currently attracts 35 per cent tariff would have the tariff increased to about 70 per cent. Besides being a punitive action against pollution, the Federal Government envisioned that this development would promote the introduction and manufacture of electric and eco-friendly vehicles in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, who was represented by a Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Usman Ahmed at a recent forum on “Clean Fuels and Clean Vehicles in Nigeria”, said: “Government will put measures in place including appropriate tariffs and taxes to discourage the importation of old and rickety vehicles, encourage local manufacturing and assembling of vehicles, promote the use of alternative fuels such as Compressed Natural Gas, Liquefied Natural Gas and the use of electric vehicles, efficient and effective means of mass transportation such as rails and water ways”.

As a measure to achieve the sustainable development goal of good health through a clean, safe and pollution-free environment, the effort is, in principle, a laudable initiative. However, when viewed from the standpoint of utility and need, the plan would be difficult to implement; and if implemented would be difficult to sustain.

An expert at UNEP’s Air Quality and Mobility Unit, Jane Akumu, said improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles alone is not enough to conserve energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the road transport sector.

She said it is essential to implement an integrated approach, including the development of alternative fuels (such as biofuels), government-led improvements in transportation infrastructures and effective use of vehicles, while considering compatibility with economic growth.

However, the need for the reduction of pollution in Nigeria, especially from motorised tricycles and motorbikes has remained critical for environmentalists considering that the country is currently rated as one of the world’s worst for pollution.

Indeed, while emphasis is being made to keep pollution standards by vehicle manufacturers, the growing number of tricycle and motorbike across urban and rural areas in the country remained a key reason that must force consumer and necessary agencies to consider products with less harm to the environment and that can offer the best feature such as fuel efficiency.

Studies indicating that some motorcycles and three wheelers often have worse emissions than cars, even though they get better gas mileage, underpin the efforts made by TVS Motor Company to adhere to pollution standards and offer products tailored to market needs in Nigeria.

When compared with major competitors in the Nigerian market, recent product review by the company showed a commitment focused around fuel economy, lower emission, lesser weight and toughness that match the Nigerian environment.

For TVS, both in tricycle and motorbike variances, technology features were aimed at building products that are easy to ride, economical to maintain and at the same time easy on the environment.

With the company’s DuraLife Engine for instance, performance was built around reduced friction and provision of less stress on the engine, leading to more efficient fuel consumption.

Similarly, the chrome plated piston rings, roller cam follower and low friction engine oil in the DuraLife Engine leads to less friction. This is backed by refined ignition timing and the overall dry mass (99 kg) which combine seamlessly to provide the improved mileage. Along with this, the long life of the engine and durability have reportedly been maintained. While the DuraLife Engine delivers best in class mileage of 95 KMPL other engines from the company come with a much as fuel-efficiency of 65 KMPL.

“We at TVS deliver total customer satisfaction by anticipating customer needs and presenting quality vehicles at the right time and at the right price. The customer and his ever changing need is our continuous source of inspiration,” the company said in a review.

The company’s 200CC three wheeler for instance debuted with high back dual tone Seats, car like dashboard, electrical start, theft proof battery, a perfect crush zone, a twin multi-reflector head-lamp with integrated bezel signature styling and excellent visibility at night leading to safety and in terms of engine, the tricycle came with four stroke, air cooled, single cylinder SI and delivers maximum power range of 6.42 KW at 5250 RPM, while maximum torque stands at 14.965 NM at 3250 RPM.

With range of products in the market in Nigeria, including a new tricycle, King Delux, which is aimed at gaining market share of 70 per cent, the company, represented in Nigeria by Wandel International Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Simba Group was recently named the highest in customer satisfaction by JD. Power Asia Pacific Awards for 2018.

The Head of Business for Wandel international, Sunil Gondhali, had said apart from offering the best products, the firm was interested in promoting local technician to ensure after sales and repair become seamless for users across the country.

Gondhali disclosed that the firm had trained over 20,000 mechanics of the tricycle brand, adding that it would be a continuous exercise meant to keep its products in good condition throughout their lifespan.

Either from the company’s premium TVS Apache RTR motorbike, which delivers as much as a 17 bhp from a 180 cc engine to other economic motorcycles and tricycles, reinforces the companies over 35 years manufacturing expertise, especially in delivering unrivaled performance and convenience.

While its recently launched TVS King Deluxe, was reported as Nigeria’s first tricycle with a break through Built-in MP3 player and FM radio, Gondhali insisted that the firm’s strategy has always been to be 2- steps ahead of competition when it comes to innovation.

Gondhali had said: “Indeed in 2010 when TVS just introduced its first tricycle, we took the bold decision to launch a four-stroke engine that gives better performance and environmental friendly in a 100 per cent 2-stroke engine environment.

“In today’s challenging environment, TVS decided to literally change the game with the TVS KING DELUXE that combines the best performances, a unique style and in-built music system.”

Founder, Wandel International, Vinay Grover, had also noted that the company’s mission is to develop and deliver locally relevant, contemporary innovative solution in partnership with global organizations to become the first choice of Nigerians.


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