UNILAG Students Design Electric Car
A group of Mechanical Engineering students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has unveiled a zero-emission automobile built to reduce global warming. KAWTHAR BABATUNDE (300-Level Petroleum Engineering) reports.
The project was conceived last year and the aim was to build an automobile that will not be powered by fuel. Months after they started the project, the engineers came out with a design of the car.
The engineering students, who designed the zero-emission vehicle, named it DOVE P1 at an exhibition organised by Designed for Zero Vehicle Emission (DOVE) Initiative at the Julius Berger Hall.
The 200 kilogramme automobile is powered by a high voltage battery and has no carbon emission. It has only a driver’s seat and a speed limit of 15 kilometres per hour. It is fitted with a tabular frame chassis and a 16-inch diameter tires.
The project was initiated by Olusanya Olukoya, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering of the university, who said the car was built with locally-sourced materials.
Olusanya told CAMPUSLIFE that the car was designed out of their desire to encourage eco-friendly inventions. He praised the school management for supporting the project and their passion for practising what they were taught in the class.
He said: ‘The project DOVE Initiative is a design and innovation group established to encourage innovativeness of the youth to design and create vehicles of the future in Nigeria. We want to create pure, clean, eco-friendly and energy efficient automobiles. This informed our idea to build an electric car as against the conventional fuel-powered cars.”
He said electric vehicles would be become a new trend in the future, noting that the world was running out of fossil fuels. Electric cars, Olusanya said, has an advantage over the conventional vehicle, because it reduces carbon emission into the atmosphere.
During the presentation of the techniques behind the design, Peace Omoruyi, a 500-Level Mechanical Engineering student and leader of the project team, said they had already started the design of DOVE P2, which would be an improvement on the DOVE P1.
According to him, the new automobile would have an ergonometric design, accident prevention system, fingerprint port and anti-theft technology.
The exhibition was attended by guests from the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Corporation, Mr. F.A. Akandu.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Rahmon Bello, represented by the Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Prof A.O. Fakinlade, hailed the students, expressing hope that the project would place the nation on the global map.
He said: “We must learn from countries that have vibrant automobile industries. The extent to which our automobile industry goes depends on the level of support we give young inventors and how fast we can learn. I urge other engineering students to emulate this initiative and design life-changing projects that can boost local inventions.”
The Managing Director of Elizade Nigeria Limited, Mr Adedamola Adeojo, said he was impressed by the students’ creativity, noting that the development could boost local expertise for vehicles’ production.
He said: “We are here to celebrate ingenuity of our youths. I see inventions like this to have to potentials to change the thinking of unemployed youths to become inventors. I will encourage the designers of DOVE P1 to transform the project into a business idea.”
Prof Oluremi Olatunbosun, Head of Automotive Engineering Laboratory of the University of Birmingham in United Kingdom, said he was surprised by the students.
If supported, Prof Olatunbosun expressed optimism that the project could make Nigeria a vehicle-manufacturing nation, adding that it could provide jobs to the unemployed youths.
He said: “One of the areas we can create jobs is manufacturing industry and that is how countries like China and Singapore developed.”
Akandu said Lagos government would maintain partner with the DOVE P1 designers to create opportunities for youths in the state.
Maduka Smart, a final year Mechanical Engineering student and a member of DOVE Initiative, while unveiling the group’s plan for the future, said the team had the plan to take to take the initiative beyond the campus. He solicited support of the government and engineers.
The NSE through its representative, Mr Tunde Jayesinmi, pledged its support, saying it would maintain cordial relationship with the group.
Source: Nation Online