The Federal University of Technology, Owerri has concluded plans to produce an electric car which would be known as “ AFRICAR ”.This was made known by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. C. C. Asiabaka during an interaction with a delegation from the Department of Automobile Engineering, Technical University, Munich, Germany who were in the University on a collaboration visit to the University.
He further disclosed that the collaboration with Technical University, Munich, Germany would enhance the quality of the electric car to be produced by the University as four (4) FUTO Ph.D students will be working with selected postgraduate students from the Technical University, Munich, Germany on the project. He disclosed that a major fallout of the project would be the development of a functional Department of Automobile Engineering by FUTO. He also noted that the project would be a marriage between research and the Industry.In his presentation, the Team leader of the delegation from Technical University, Munich, Germany stated that the “Africar” project was a specially designed concept for developing an electronic vehicle in meeting about 95% mobility needs of the people of the sub-Saharan Africa. He further stated that similar projects have been completed in Europe and Asia and the “Africar” would be affordable, environmentally-friendly with electronic architecture and produced with local content materials. He also added that the “Africar” project has been designed to meet the peculiar needs of Nigerians.
The Project Co-ordinator of the “Africar” project, Engr Prof O. M. I. Nwafor stated that the realisation of the “Africar” project would mark a major breakthrough in technological advancement in the country with FUTO in the driving seat. He added that the tripartite collaboration between FUTO, Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo and the Technical University, Munich, Germany would strengthen the final phases in the production of the “Africar”.
In his contribution at the occasion, the Rector of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Rev Fr. Dr Wence Madu disclosed that the project would revolutionise the automobile industry in the country.
The delegation later inspected the Automoblie Workshop and other relevant facilities in the University.