Electricycles? 3 Nigerians Have Built The First Made-In-Nigeria Electric Tricycle

By  |  October 26, 2019

It appears electric vehicle season is upon us and Nigerians are also getting in on the act.

Three young Nigerians have just made a major breakthrough in building the very first electric tricycle in Nigeria. It took several months of work and a lot of effort too but it looks like it’s going to be all worth it in the end.

It was past midday on Friday, October 25, when it came to light that Kenneth Nwarache and two other colleagues, Mustapha and Sadiq, had designed, assembled, and tested the first electric tricycle in Nigeria.

Yesterday, Nwarache. who describes himself as a “dreamer, DIY specialist, collaborator, and founder, tweeted: “After sleepless nights of trying to fix up this, it’s finally here. Very first electric tricycles in Nigeria.”

He also suggested that charge stations are up next in select locations nationwide while soliciting Retweets and asking people to help in spreading the word.

Another tweet showed the electric tricycle (which we have taken the liberty to name: “electricycle”) on a range test in which it maintained speeds of 72 kilometres per hour for quite a distance while exhibiting minimal battery drain.

According to Nwarache, the electricycle was wholly built in Nigeria and it works quite well, boasting a decent range, low battery drain and a decent charging rate.

Although they designed and assembled the electricycle from scratch, Nwaraches says the team also has the capacity to recycle and convert already-existing petrol tricycles to electricycles.

In the same vein, he revealed that the team also has similar plans for vehicles like buses and cars. Nwarache specifically mentioned BRTs as one of his targets for the “electric revolution” which he says Nigeria cannot afford to be left out of.

In the same breath, he hinted at metered charge stations at strategic locations while indicating that he was open to “business talks.”

“We have a detailed business model for electric vehicles(charge stations) and power walls for home/office use,” he said.

“Charging varies but idea is to have units sold at various charge stations. A full charge takes 6 hours, to give 200 kilometres.”

“SOC depends on power source and DOC. Our plan is to allow everyone to buy a unit of power they can afford,” he added.

What followed was a flurry of comments, commending Nwarache and his team for doing such a good job and asking further questions about their creation. There were also suggestions on how to improve their work.

Most of the questions centred around how cost-effective their solution is and whether the battery could stand the “traffic test” on many Nigerian roads, most especially, in Lagos.

Nwarache didn’t exactly say the electricycles cost a lot less than the usual petrol tricycles but he did hint at the possibility of the electric tricycles being a more cost-effective solution when manufactured at scale.

As per the concerns about running out of juice when stuck in traffic, Nwarache had this to say:

“There will be supercharge stations everywhere you go. More so the consumption is fantastic. It’s an automated setup that beeps once power is at 30 percent. It won’t even get to that with our onboard software. We have that figured out.”

He also added: “Idling doesn’t consume power. So in traffic just enjoy yourself.”

To suggestions about incorporating self-charging and solar panels of the roofs of the tricycles, Nwarache said: “Oh yes! Self-charging is key. Solar on the roof is not feasible and we have tested that.”

On the issue of maintenance needs and susceptibility of the vehicle to the ravages of natural elements like rainfall, the co-creator of the electricycle suggested that the tricycles have low maintenance requirements and they intend to train technicians.

“Maintenance is low but we intend to train technicians. Remember before now we had horses, then cars. Fixing/repairs isn’t an issue for us. This has been in the pipeline for over 2years now. We are thorough.”

Nwarache said the electricycles are energy-efficient and environment-friendly and he and his team have pretty much perfected the design, though they could really use some help taking things to the next level.

Many Nigerians are now asking the government to step in and support the efforts of the trio. Concerned individuals are also urging collaborations with government agencies and Nigerian vehicle maker, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM), which Nwarache said he welcomes provided the opportunity does arise.

As the world continues to unite against climate change and global warming, and as voices against the use of fossil fuels continue to grow louder, electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular.

This year, electric vehicles outsold their gasoline counterparts for the first time ever in Norway. And it is almost inevitable that the trend will continue to spread.

Nigeria, an oil-producing nation, might be caught up in some sort of conflict of interest when it comes to the subject of electric vehicles. But there’s hardly any doubt that EVs are the future. And when the wind of change does start to blow, there’s just no stopping it.

One Nigerian “common-sense” Senator, Ben Murray-Bruce, has been pretty vocal about why Nigeria needs to start embracing EVs. But he’s pretty much been the only one.

Earlier this month, a Nigerian transport-tech/logistics startup, Metro Africa Express (MAX.ng) revealed it would be rolling out electric motorcycles wholly assembled in Nigeria in a few weeks. The startup also claims to have achieved this by converting petrol motorcycles to electric.

It looks like Nwarache and co are on the cusp of something big with their electric tricycles but they will certainly need all the help they can get.

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