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Zero Emission Vehicle: How UNILAG Engineering Students Built An Electric Vehicle In Nigeria

A zero emission electric vehicle made by engineering students of University Of Lagos (UNILAG) has turned heads during its recent maiden test-drive around the campus.

The electric vehicle was designed to eliminate carbon emissions associated with internal combustion engines, as well as minimise acoustic noise when in operation.

The institution’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academics and Research), Prof. Oluwole Familoni, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said that the initiative was to encourage indigenous engineering innovation.

According to Mr Familoni, UNILAG ZEV is a 63 per cent hardware and 100 per cent software home-made (Akoka content) mechatronics automobile device.

He noted that the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, had inaugurated the UNILAG Zero Emission Vehicle team in 2018.

The team is led by Samson Adeosun, a professor in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

Mr Familoni, a professor pf Chemistry, told NAN that in line with the universal drive to minimise global warming, the vehicle was designed to eliminate carbon emissions associated with internal combustion engines, as well as minimise acoustic noise when in operation.

”In concept, the UNILAG ZEV team developed an adaptive and reprogrammable power train (drive) system.

The University of Lagos has performed tests of its Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV). According to the institution’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academics and Research), Oluwole Familoni, the vehicle’s production is an invaluable addition to the university’s efforts at preventing the release of toxic emissions to the environment.

Familoni added that  the vehicle runs on an improvised refurbished Nickel Hydride battery that delivers up to five-kilometre range per charging cycle when operated in Campus Shuttle mode, saying: “The range is extendable to 350km at optimum average speed of 110k/hour at highway mode, when appropriate lithium ion battery is installed.”

The Eco-friendly, Zero emission vehicle, dubbed the UNILAG ZEV 001, is UNILAG’s bold step into ensuring that Nigeria is not left out in the electric car revolution.

Just like any other electric car, the UNILAG ZEV 001 features a battery-pack as well as an electric motor – instead of internal combustion engine – which drives the wheel of the car. The distance at which this prototype EV will go between charges hasn’t been revealed.

Inside, the front row features two seats for the driver and a passenger. The back seats has two rows that should comfortably sit six passengers.

This test drive came few days before the launch of the solar powered electric car charging system by the Federal Government at UNILAG Campus in Lagos.

For now, there is no word whether UNILAG will take this prototype electric vehicle into production or whether it will go into collaboration with local auto manufacturers in the country.

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