The Mechatronic Team of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has made history as the first group to produce a locally made electric car in Nigeria. The vehicle was unveiled yesterday by the team.
Christened ‘Lion Ozumba 551’, after the immediate past vice chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba who laid the foundation for the innovation, the five-seater electric car is made up of about 80% locally available materials and could undertake a 30-kilometre distance when fully charged.
“We used 80 per cent local material content in building this electric car, while it cost us N800,000 to produce it. “When the car is fully charged, it will go up to 30 kilometres before it can be recharged.”
Dr Ozoemena Ani, Coordinator of UNN Metatronic group.
The Director-General of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) during the unveiling of ‘Lion Ozumba 551’ commended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) for being the first institution to produce an electric car in the country.
The UNN Mechatronics Group focuses on identifying and developing potentials products and processes with maximum possible local content for advancing the economy of Nigeria.
The team is made of specific members of the school’s department. These include Dr Ozoemena Ani – Research Group Coordinator (Power Systems, Machinery and Mechatronic Engineering), Prof D.O.N. Obikwelu (Metallurgical and Material Engineering), Prof Oparaku (Electronic Engineering), Dr S. Nwanya (Mechanical Engineering) and B. U. Akuru (Electrical Engineering).
He also encouraged other Tertiary institution to follow the steps of UNN in producing innovative engineering technologies.
“The council is happy that UNN is the first to prepare a paper design and produced an electric car that has been unveiled and test-run today in the university. “We urge other universities and higher institutions in the country to emulate innovation and technology spirit of UNN.”
Mr Jelani Aliyu, Director-General of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC).
Ozuma, who was also present at the unveiling expressed his overwhelming joy at the success of the project. In his words, he highlights the importance of technology in the growth of the country’s economy.
“When I came on board, I said we need innovation and technology to be on par with China, United States, Sweden and other developed countries of the world. “That was why I provided the resources and encouragement for innovation and technology because I believe that is one of the ways we can improve our country’s economy. “It was part of my desire to improve UNN’s and Nigeria’s economy and boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings,”
Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, immediate past vice chancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
The innovation of the Electric car sheds light on capabilities of indigenous trained engineers and sparks the idea that so many of the Technological designs innovated in our institution with a little funding can be produced.