A student from the Obagemi Awolowo University, in Nigeria, has turned his gas-grid VW Beetle into a fully solar and wind powered car, leaving many wondering how he did it.
Segun Oyeyiola said his friends ridiculed him when he had the idea. He said his friends said it was not possible to create such a car. Now, not only has he done it, scientists and engineers are stunned at how he was able to turn the car into such a clean-energy vehicle.
According to Oyeyiola, he spent $6,000 to be able to transform the vehicle into the clean energy car it is today. He has installed a wind turbine in the hood and a giant solar panel on the roof with rechargeable solar batteries.
Oyeyiola said what motivated him to pursue this dream of getting a car that can run on renewable energy is to save the environment from pollution by fuel and gas engines.
“I wanted to reduce carbon dioxide emission going to our atmosphere that leads to climate change or global warming which has become a new reality, with deleterious effect: seasonal cycles are disrupted, as are ecosystems; and agriculture, water needs and supply, and food production are all adversely affected. Therefore, I came up of building a car that will use both winds and solar energy for its movement. This was my personal project because of the problem I’m planning to solve,” he told Co-Exist in an email.
He has been compared to electric car expert, Elon Musk, but for Oyeyiola, this is just the beginning. He wants to create many of these solar/wind-powered cars that can take advantage of the hot and sunny weather of Nigeria. He is also hoping that it will become Nigeria’s and Africa’s future car to save cost and the environment.
Meanwhile, his invention has left many experts, including Dr. John Preston of McMaster University, puzzled. Dr. Preston admitted that he had never seen anything like it. He was quoted as saying, “If you could find a way to use both wind and solar in the same vehicle, that would be a marvelous thing. Using wind and solar means you wouldn’t have to drive just during daylight hours. If he has figured a way to do it that would be quite remarkable.”
The only challenge facing Oyeyiola now is how to make the batteries of the car charge faster. It is said the batteries take 4-5 hours to charge. Once he is able to improve on that then Africa is hoping to gain the benefits of clean, renewable energy powering its numerous cars.
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