Mustapha Gajibo, a Nigerian entrepreneur, is now building solar battery-powered buses from the ground up in an effort to promote clean energy and reduce pollution.
Mustapha Gajibo, a Nigerian entrepreneur, has been converting petrol minibuses into electric vehicles at his workshop, but he is now going a step further to build solar battery-powered buses from the ground up in an effort to promote clean energy and reduce pollution.
Africa’s top crude oil producer and exporter has heavily subsidised gasoline and a patchy electricity supply, a combination that may discourage anyone from investing in electric vehicles.
Gajibo, a 30-year-old university dropout from Maiduguri in Nigeria’s northeast, is undeterred.
He claims that rising global oil prices and pollution make electric vehicles a viable option in Nigeria.
He has already removed the combustion engines from ten minibuses and replaced them with solar batteries in his workshop.
He claims that the buses, which have been in operation for just over a month, can travel 100 kilometres on a single charge.
His most ambitious project is to build the buses from the ground up.
Solar panels and batteries will be installed.
“As I speak to you now in our workshop, we are building a 12-seater bus that can travel up to 200 kilometres on a single charge,” Gajibo explained.
“By the end of this month, we will unveil that bus, which will be the first of its kind in Nigeria,” he said, adding that his workshop could produce 15 buses per month.
Electric vehicles have yet to gain traction in Nigeria, as in the rest of Africa, because they are more expensive and there is little electricity and no infrastructure to charge them.
Gajibo currently has one solar-powered charging station.
Other obstacles, such as foreign currency shortages, make it difficult to import parts.
As a result, he is looking for them in Nigeria.
“We’ve been substituting some materials with local materials to reduce costs and maximise profit,” Gajibo explained.