A group of Nigerian engineering students have built a track focused, four wheeled electric car using locally sourced materials and purely indigenous technology. Its innovators say the world is running out of fossil fuels, and Nigeria will soon need to move towards hybrids and electric cars.
The project which started in 2014 has made progress and in August this year the electric car named DOVE, meaning Designed for Zero Emission, was unveiled at the University of Lagos campus.
Engineering graduates, Olukoya Olusanya and Maduka Smart initiated the project but later included other mechanical engineering students to help build the automobile. Built with locally sourced materials, the 200 kilogram vehicle is powered by a high voltage battery with no carbon emission.
Made of a fiberglass body, the electric car moves at a speed of 30 kilometres per hour and can even go up to 35 kilometres per hour.
“It’s the future of vehicles in general not just Nigeria but all over the world and I believe that with time as technology comes, expands, technology of electric cars, of course it’s still a developing field and some things are still being put in place especially with battery technology and increasing the range of electric vehicles but I believe that with time, it’s going to expand to Nigeria and acceptance and coverage will be increased in Nigeria in the near future.” said Olaniyan Folajumi, Engineering student.
Consumers have largely shunned electric vehicles in parts of the world because of their high price tags and limited driving range, as well as the scarcity of charging stations. The students say they will push for development of the technology further because if adopted it can help the country depend less on natural resources like fuel.