The Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Agency, NADDC, Jelani Aliyu has said that the agency in collaboration with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of Lagos and Usman DanFodio University, is piloting a program on Electric Vehicle Technology Transfer.
Mr Aliyu made the disclosure while speaking on ‘Future Outlook of Solar Energy in the Nigerian Transportation Sector’ during the SESN’s 38th National Solar Energy Forum, NASEF 2020, which took place at the Usman Danfodio University in Sokoto State.
According to him, the collaboration is to begin the Technology Transfer of Vehicle Electrification and further understand the challenges, opportunities and strategies for the production of electric vehicles in the country.
He said: “We shall deploy Electric Vehicles at these three institutions and collaborate with them in Monitoring and Evaluation so as to gather the necessary empirical data needed to develop an Electric Vehicle Policy.
“Usman DanFodio University has already allocated land for this project, and as soon as we finish the ongoing procurement process we shall commence construction and deploy the Electric Vehicles.
“We hope that this project will expose the fine students of this university to this exciting technology, enable them to get an excellent grasp of it, and empower them to develop it further for even more effective Nigerian applications,” he added.
Citing a recent study, the director-general said the average solar insolation in Nigeria is about 5.25kWh/m2.
This same energy, he said, could be as high as 7.0kWh/m2 in the country’s northern region such as Sokoto.
“Solar Energy is a very clean and renewable energy source, it is one which continuously advancing technology is making it easier to harness and be stored for powering a multitude of electrified transportation vehicles and solutions.
“Solar Energy and Transportation in Nigeria are a perfect match, it is a strategy that must be adopted and harnessed.
“It will create environmentally friendly solutions for moving people and goods across the nation, at the same time allowing us to maintain the purity of our environment.
“That is why our EV Pilot Program here at Usman DanFodio University will be Solar Powered. We hope that it will pioneer the study and research into Solar Powered Transportation Solutions for Applicability in Nigeria and Africa in general,” he said.
He said the project is committed to enabling a landscape where homes across the nation would have Solar Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.
These stations, he said, would capture energy from the sun during the day and directly charge vehicles or store the energy in batteries for overnight charging.
He said: “Solar Energy Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Stations would soon be the new normal, as the nation’s usage of EVs grows exponentially.
“These would offer new opportunities for entrepreneurs as viable businesses offering unprecedented and yet increasingly necessary services to owners of zero-emission vehicles.
“Solar Power technologies are a perfect opportunity for cities and municipalities in the country to leverage in providing clean, environmentally friendly and effective public transportation.
“Buses have the added advantage of having a large surface area on the roof to accommodate a big number of photovoltaic panels.”
Mr Aliyu noted that cities such as Sokoto, Birnin-Kebbi, Gusau, Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Owerri and others could benefit tremendously from Solar Powered Buses, while emphasizing that the NADDC is ready to partner with any city or state in the nation.
With the exponential advancement of ever more new technologies in the transportation sector, road networks are becoming increasingly more embedded with Artificial Intelligence and Connectivity.
He added that Nigeria’s quest for development would allow for the identification and leveraging of solutions that would have earlier been seen as impossible.
To power these intelligent road systems, and by extension, also the nearby neighborhoods, he said, it means adopting technologies such as Solar Roads.
That is, instead of roads being paved with coal tar, they would actually be paved with highly durable photovoltaic cells that can withstand the weight and stress of moving vehicles, he explained.
“Solar Roads could also be enabled through the provision of photovoltaic cells attached to the rooftops that would lie directly above and along the lengths of roads.
“This too can easily power both the transport infrastructure and the neighbourhoods and settlements around them.
“So that phenomenon where roads bring trade and development to the areas they pass through would be further strengthened with the provision of electricity.
“This would expedite the development of our rural areas.
“Solar Roads would also make it more practical and economically viable to deploy and operate Electric Buses that need real-time electric supply, negating the need for onboard batteries to store the energy.
“The bus terminals along the road and at strategic locations would also easily and effectively tap into this power source,” he said.