Segun Oyeyiola is an engineering student at Obagemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. He’s the best kind of person: self actualized in the extra. Over the course of the last year, he took an old Volkswagen Beetle and turned it into a green vehicle. It runs off a battery that is charged by both solar and wind energy. As you can see in the picture, his car is also painted green — a little joke that I only just got.
Oyeyiola says that his motivation was primarily environmental. He is concerned about global warming. And unlike a lot of global warming worry in America, I think his is very grounded. His list of deleterious effects include: “seasonal cycles are disrupted, as are ecosystems; and agriculture, water needs and supply, and food production are all adversely affected.” Exactly. It’s not what I hear all too often, “There will be bigger hurricanes.”
There is a whole gee-whiz aspect of this. Oyeyiola built the car with with scraps and various things he bought with $6,000. But it is much more than this. In particular, it is the integration of a wind turbine into it that makes it special. Fast Company covered the story, This Nigerian College Student Built a Wind- And Solar-Powered Car From Scraps. And they interviewed John Preston at McMaster University, where he is the adviser to the school’s solar car team. According to him, the turbine uses the air that is forced through them to charge the battery. That works more or less the same way that a traditional hybrid does.
Oyeyiola says that he plans to keep working on the car. It has aspects that he thinks need work, like the fact that it takes roughly five hours to charge the battery. But hopefully he’ll get snapped up by a company or start his own on the celebrity of this car. Regardless, this is really cool.