The University of Lagos Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academics and Research), Prof. Oluwole Familoni, has disclosed that the institution had begun test-running its Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) initiated in 2018, saying the initiative was also to encourage indigenous engineering innovation.
He added that the project was in line with the universal drive to minimise global warming and that the vehicle was designed to eliminate carbon emissions associated with internal combustion engines, as well as minimise acoustic noise when in operation.
Familoni noted that the production was an invaluable addition to the university’s efforts at preventing release of toxic emissions to the environment and protecting Nigerians from inhaling harmful breeze around the country.
The Don who disclosed this while briefing journalist on Sunday in Lagos, said that UNILAG ZEV was 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, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, had inaugurated the UNILAG Zero Emission Vehicle team in 2018 and that the team was led by Prof. Samson Adeosun of the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.
”In concept, the UNILAG ZEV team developed an adaptive and reprogrammable power train (drive) system. 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//hour
”On highways, during intra or inter–city 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,” Familoni said.
He added that the UNILAG ZEV came with an on-board auxiliary power supply system. Familoni who is a professor of chemistry said that the energy backup was available to the driver via a ‘please take me home switch’ on the dash board.
According to him, 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.
”The range is extendable to 350km at optimum average speed of 110k/hour at highway mode, when appropriate lithium ion battery is installed.”