A student in his final year of Obagemi Awolowo University of Nigeria, Segun Oyeyiola, spent a year transforming a Volkswagen Beetle into a car powered by solar and wind energy, using old parts and accessories donated by friends and relatives. Everything was under 6000 dollars. He says that he wanted “to reduce carbon dioxide emission going to our atmosphere that lead 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”.
A specialist, Mr John Preston, chair of McMaster University’s engineering physics department and faculty, from Canada, says he has never seen an invention like that of the Nigerian student, which also has a GPS application monitoring the health of the car. He says that “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”.
Segun Oyeyiola installed a huge solar panel on the roof of his car and also a wind turbine under its hood. From what Mr. Preston explains, the later allows the flow of the air through the grill of the car, it also makes the turbine’s rotors turn and charge the battery at the back of the car. The problem is that charging the battery takes five hours, and Segun Oyeyiola is now working to find a solution to this issue. His purpose is to create vehicles like his Beetle in large quantities, the sunny weather of Nigeria being on his side, because, he says he wants to create Nigeria’s future car. Asked to give a message to other students like him, he replies: “never expect someone to believe in your dreams because they may not understand it as you do. Endeavor to follow your heart and do what will make you happy and that which will not affect your fellow being negatively”.