The University of Lagos (UNILAG) has developed a zero-emissions vehicle. The vehicle was designed to eliminate carbon emissions associated with internal combustion engines, as well as minimise acoustic noise when in operation. The team UNILAG is test-running its Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) it initiated in 2018.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Oluwole Familoni, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.
According to Oluwole Familoni, “the production is an invaluable addition to the university’s efforts at preventing the release of toxic emissions to the environment.”
He said the initiative was also 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 added that the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, was the first that inaugurated the UNILAG Zero Emission Vehicle team in 2018.
The team is led by Professor Samson Adeosun, a professor in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Familoni told NAN that in lieu of the world leaders urge 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,” Familoni told News Agency of Nigeria.
“Although the drive train functionality is presently exhibited with six-passenger Sport Utility Shuttle Van platform, it can be reconfigured to support 18-seater commuter bus. In its exhibition form, the drive train Energy Management System (EMS) is programmed to deliver ultra-low-power supply to realise maximum range per battery charging cycle at campus shuttling speed of less than 20km per hour
On highways, during intra or intercity transits, the EMS is programmed to adaptively overwrite the shuttling mode and still minimise energy consumption. These user-specific features are absent on assembled imported Completely Knocked Down (CKD) components of electric vehicles that have been reported in Nigeria to date.” ~ Deputy Vice-Chancellor Familoni told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
He added that the UNILAG ZEV came with an onboard auxiliary power supply system.
He said the energy backup was available to the driver via a ‘please take me home switch’ on the dashboard.
According to him, the vehicle runs on an improvised refurbished Nickel Hydride battery that delivers up to a five-kilometre range per charging cycle when operated in Campus Shuttle mode.
”The range is extendable to 350km at an optimum average speed of 110k/hour at highway mode when an appropriate lithium-ion battery is installed.”
The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Mr Ogundipe, said the product was proof that the institution was neck-deep into demand-driving research.
He said the university would do more if given more opportunities.
”We need more support for funding research,” he said.
Other members of the team that assembled the ZEV include Akinfenwa Fashanu of the university’s Systems Engineering Department, Mohammed Usman (Chemical Engineering), and Adeola Balogun (Electrical and Electronics Engineering. (NAN)