eRACER V1 – Electric Racing Car: A prototype of the future modes of transport
Objectives: Blazing a trail for a technology shift in the conventional transportation systems in an attempt to mitigate the recent climate change (extremely hot weather) in Nigeria, the type that may have resulted from the possible effects of global warming, due to the recurring emissions of CO2 from various fossil fuel internal combustion engines. Hence, a necessity to invent an eco-friendly modes of transportation – such as the different models of electric vehicles.
THE PROBLEMS AT HAND: Apart from other forms of environmental pollutions and breathing-related health issues being caused by the by-products emissions of petrol/diesel-driven engines, several research hypotheses also confirm that CO2 also affects the level of atmospheric precipitations, thereby forming acidic rain. This can affect the full-flowering of various agricultural practices and other aquatic lives (overpopulated regions and highly industrialized areas are mostly affected in this regard, due to massive CO2 emissions from power plants, Fossil fuel I.C.E. vehicles and other power Generators).
ACTUALIZING THE 13th GOAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS’ 17 SDGs: While analyzing the actualization of the previous MDGs – Millennium Development Goals, several reports depict that Sub-Sahara African Countries and South-Asian Countries are the under-achievers among other Nations. However, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are here again – strategized by the United Nations, in an attempt to make the world a better place to live in – today and in the subsequent decades. “Climate Action” is the 13th Goal of the 17 SDGs of the United Nations. In an attempt to combat global warming, some nations are already making actionable moves, whereas, most African Nations are redundant by not considering the futuristic consequences of their actions and inactions of different climate exploits. This is another wakeup call for all!
So Far, So Good: In an attempt to actualize the global climate goal by collectively infinitesimalizing the effects of global warming, several countries/cities around the world are currently experimenting and implementing policies/methods on how to actualize a clean air by banning the sales and importations of fossil fuel-driven vehicles within the next few years/decades – in an attempt to achieve the 13th SDGs of the United Nations. Pragmatically, as reported by the Reuters: “In Norway, 52% of new car sales were electric in 2017” while the country is already making moves to ban the sales of petrol/diesel-driven I.C.E. cars in the next 6 years (2025). “By 2030, Israel will be banning the importation of I.C.E. vehicles – while only electric cars and the hybrid ones driven by natural gas will be allowed”. GZ also reported that: “Rome (Italy) will be banning diesel vehicles from the city centre by 2024, while Athens, Paris, Madrid, Mexico City will be banning the use of all diesel vehicles by 2025, Brussels (Belgian Capital) by 2030”. “In France, there shall be no sales of petrol/diesel vehicles by 2030”. Alongside, some States in the US, Germany, India, Taiwan, China, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Ireland are already developing a long-term plan to actualize a clean air by phasing out the conventional fossil fuel I.C.E. vehicles.
WAKING UP THE SLEEPING GIANTS: To aggravate the situation of the recurring global warming, culturally, African Nations have been the dumping ground for Tokunbo/used-cars which are more susceptible to CO2 emissions, while the inveterate use of petrol/diesel powered generators also contributed to other wailing environmental pollutions. It is very wrong for a country to import/use a diesel powered locomotive train in this cyber age L – considering its severe environmental pollution challenges. Most African countries that are majorly influenced by the global warming effects are not strategizing long-term plans on how to actualize zero-emission transportation systems within the next few decades. If I may ask! Are we going to become slaves to civilization once again? For how long shall we continue to import more than we export? In an attempt to strike a trade balance in the global market, African Nations (most especially Nigeria) must have more exportations than the incessant importations. That is the true meaning of gaining independence!
Recommendations: At this point, there should be bills and motions in the Nigerian National Assembly, structured towards experimenting and implementing some environmental laws in Nigeria – with the target to actualize a clean air in the next few years/decades. The only ACTION PLAN to accomplish this goal is to engage some dedicated Nigerian Scientists, Engineers, Technologists and other Foreign Research and Development Consultants on the global-moving-waves of technology shift in transportation systems – inventing an eco-friendly transport mode, such as electric vehicles and other hybrid cars that are driven by natural gas. The point remains the same, paradoxically; “In this side of the world, those who have ideas are not in power, while those in power have no ideas”. However, the right time to change the narratives is NOW!
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE Electric vehicles: The developmental index of a Country can also be measured by her level of Research and Development of various scientific, technological and engineering inventions. Practically, when it comes to the schematics of electric vehicles, either the ones driven with AC motors or DC motors, there are still a lot of milestones to be reached in terms of service performance. For instance, the regenerative braking systems being deployed to auto-recharge EV batteries through its forward momentum can be upgraded, so that an electric vehicle can always recharge itself more efficiently. Also, for the case of electric cars driven with DC motors, a sturdy magnet that can produce more RPM/Torque for faster EV engines can be invented in this side of the world. These are the areas and many other ones that can be exploited in this course.
INTRODUCING THE eRACER – V1: The Electric Racing Car (eRACER V1) was modeled with an AutoCAD Application (2010 Version) in an attempt to invent a new genre of racing sport with faster EVs, while other replica models can be used as the conventional zero-emission trains, vehicles, sky-birds, trams and others – in order foster an appropriate climate action in Nigeria and other parts of the world, while also contributing to the actualization of the 13th goal of the 17 SDGs. The optimum target is to engage in R&D to invent a faster/turbo-like EV engines which can simultaneously recharge its battery as we pedal to the metal, alongside supplementing the existing battery-recharge system (regenerative braking) derived from the forward momentum of the motor.
CONCLUSION: As I have always canvassed for in my previous writings and during prior public interviews, it is high time for the Nigerian Government to partner with other private players in order to establish a National ICT Industrial Park in the 6 Geo-Political Zones of Nigeria. The action plan is to engage in the research and development of certain timely products (hybrid cars that use natural gas and other types of electric mode of transports, alternative source of cheaper/readily available/affordable energy for the generation of electricity) while the end goal is to blaze a trail for an industrialized/export-led economy among other dividends such as generating employment opportunities, actualizing a human-friendly nation, combating global warming and improved standard of living.
Most of all, no matter the amount of deposits of fossil fuels in Nigeria, research already confirms that such precious mineral resources will finish one day. If I may ask! What shall we fall back to – as a viable means of transportation? In the next few decades, how shall we sustain as a Nation in terms of a supplemented source of power generation? In reference to one of my epic quotes: “if you fail to prepare something for the time, whenever the time comes, it will prepare anything for you”.
Jawolusi Oluwaseun Solomon
(A Mechanical Engineer, an Information Technologist, a Policy Analyst and an Author)