Nigerian Student Builds a Solar Car

When determination meets great innovation, then we have someone like Segun Oyeyiola. A final year student of Obafemi Awolowo University (O.A.U), Ile-Ife, in this interview with TribuneNg, bares it all on how he achieved the feat of building and driving a car that needs no fuel to move, but solar and wind energy:

Can you introduce yourself?
I am Oyeyiola Segun, a final year student of electronic and electrical engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. I am a native of Ifetedo, Ife South Local Government Area in Osun State, Nigeria.

I am a kind of person that see every problem as an opportunity for me to find a lasting solution to it. When others talk about problems facing them, I try to solve problems that come my way. I don't give up on any situation that I find myself; I have always believed that there is a way out of every problem, if I look closely, so, I want to be known and identified as a problem solver.
 
What problem did you identify that spurred you to make a solar powered car?
I noticed that there is a problem in our climate change which is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years and this is caused due to the effects of combustion of fuel.

If we can reduce or stop combustion of fuel, this world will be a better place for us to live. Most of us are not aware of this problem, so I thought of building a car that will not use fuel for its movement. This car will not produce carbon dioxide emissions that cause change in our climate.

How did you get the materials to build the car?
I used the available materials I could find around to build the car. I also used my personal money for the building of the car and the little funds my parents could also provide. However, I still need more funds to perfect the work.

When you wanted to start this project, what was the reaction of your friends and parents?
Most of my friends said that my country has not built a car that uses fuel; they wondered how I could possibly build a car that will not use fuel. They tried to discourage me but I told them that, we, the youths are the agent of change and it will start from somewhere. My parents knew the kind of person I was. They knew that I love bringing solutions to problems; they were just looking forward to how I would solve the problem.

When the car moved, right in their presence, they were very happy that I said it and I did it.

What kept you focused and determined?
I just believed that I could do it, despite all odds. I have made up my mind that the car would be the personal car that I will be driving around town.

How long did it take you to build the car?
I cannot really say for now but it is more than 12 months now. This was because I initially started getting the materials in bits.

Did you encounter any financial challenges?
Financial challenge has always been there but I just continued and moved on with my work because I am so optimistic about the future.

How does the car function?
The car uses wind and solar energy, most people think it is only solar energy because they can only see the solar panel on top of the car but the car uses wind and solar energy.

Apart from that, you can know the state of the car like the battery level, weather conditions, how far you can go and the GPS location of the car by installing the simple application I developed alongside the car.

How does the application work?
The application can be installed on your smartphone or your laptop, from this application, you will be able to get some information about the car. So it will also reduce the stress of manual checking of our normal car

 Do you plan to manufacture more of this?
The car is targeted to be used in Nigeria and Africa in general. This is because of our weather. If we refuse to make a car like this, no other countries will do it for us. So my plan is that this car will be our future car.

Apart from the fame that the production of this car has brought you, what else has it brought you? Has any company shown interest in financing or supporting you?
As of his moment, no company has shown interest in financing or supporting me. Maybe they are not aware of my project.

How did your lecturers react when you finished the project?
My lecturers are aware of it, one of them commented on it on my Facebook page. However, I have not met anyone personally.

Plan for the future
I plan to set up my own company and bring more people on board and work together as a team and achieve more.

Words of advice for other students willing to embark on a project like this too:
In life, there will always be challenging situations that will appear discouraging, we can't run away from it, instead, we should see it as an opportunity to succeed. Make hard work your watchword, knowing that in every challenge, there is a way out of it.

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About Abayomi Oke

Asiwaju is the CEO of Novent Concept, he is a Professional MC and also a Movie Director "Biographical Info" Novent TV is a subsidary of Novent Concept.

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