A young Nigerian student doing his last year in electronic and electrical engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has built a car operating on solar power.Segun Oyeyiola explains that his car uses both wind and solar energy for the functioning. Moreover, the man developed an application for its installation in the car, which app will inform the driver about the battery level, weather conditions and other essential parameters.
In an interview to allAfrica.com Segun spoke about how he came up with the idea and eventually embodied it. He confessed his first motivation was to eradicate the causes of climate change resulting in fuel combustion.
"In the course of my research, I found out that our regular cars contribute immensely to climate change… If we could manufacture cars that do not use fuel or reduce the number of cars that use fuel; our world will be a better place for us to live in." The student had to work and study hard to achieve his aim, which was even harder because of absence of electricity most of the time.
Apart from that, the final year student faced other challenges:
"Asides the lack of electricity, getting the right materials and text books to study as well as other needed tools was difficult. But the most prominent of them was the lack of funds. I started using my personal funds which I obtained by helping people to do their projects and a little fund my parents also contributed towards the project."
He also explained that the resulting model is a prototype, but not the final look of the car. Segun hopes to develop his project into a future car for Nigeria and Africa, as it is created with regard to our climate.
The young man points out another important benefit of using his auto – low maintenance cost:
"Everyone likes it and they are willing to start driving it around town because of its low cost of maintenance. I developed a simple software that can be installed on our laptops and smart phones to tell us the battery level, the weather condition, the distance we can cover during different weather conditions and GPS location of the car."
Enthusiastic about his project, Segun says he is not sure whether he would like to sell the idea to some entity, he prefers to have the project funded and continue working on upgrading the auto:
"I would rather they fund me to put together a team to help me perfect them and make them commercial."
In conclusion the 30-year-old urged youths to look for solutions to the global problems and never stop learning something new.
"And it’s better to start anything we wanted to do now. Let’s do what will make us happy and that which will not affect our fellow being negatively."