NAMIBIA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (NUST)
REVOLUTIONISING THE NAMIBIAN PUBLIC TRANSPORT SECTOR
The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) is set on finding new solutions to problems that have a large impact on the country and one such area is the public transport sector. Therefore a cross-disciplinary research project to develop a “Namibian Solar Electric Utility Vehicle – NSEUV,” was created by the NUST’s Innovation Design Lab (IDL). Built on proven technologies, this pollution-mitigation project will increase resilience of African metropolitan areas to climate change by connecting renewable energy to urban transport. Through research and prototyping, new generations of Namibian researchers, technologists and entrepreneurs, that strengthen nation’s human capital and harvest state-of-the-art intellectual property, are being fostered. A solar electric taxi, based on African user-centric needs is designed, rapidly prototyped and will be industrialised in Namibia and South Africa, with support of European expertise.
This is a light-weight vehicle operating with a zero-carbon footprint, where solar energy is captured by photo-voltaic cells and stored in batteries swapped at nodes of a smart grid of rechargeable stations. The Southern African region has one of the highest solar radiance in the world and is the ideal location for this e-mobilty project, a move away from gasoline.
Features of the Solar Electric Taxi include:
• a light weight chassis
• a payload of four adults or 320kg
• solar powered photovoltaic cells
• energy storage via Lithium-ion swap batteries
• car intelligence integrated with sensors systems
• regenerative braking
• driving range of 100km
• top speed of 55km/h
This venture is advancing innovation and will spur manufacturing in Namibia. However, funding remains a challenge, therefore the University is appealing for sponsors to come on board and become part of revolutionising the Namibian public transport sector.