My goal is to make electric cars

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My name is Idris Muhammad. I am from Nasarawa State. I am 27 years old. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Al-Qalam University, Katsina State. I graduated with Second Class Lower.

I am currently a corps member serving at the Centre for Technological Development, Kaduna Polytechnic.

I built an electric bike. As a little boy, I loved to create things. At secondary school, I was a member of the JETS Club. I just love solving problems; whenever I’m faced with a problem, I try to see how I can fix it. The main inspiration is my passion for creativity and technology. When I was a teenager, I loved cars.

It started when I was at the university. In my first year, there was a challenge with the power supply and it was difficult for me to research with my phone because I didn’t have a power source for recharging the battery of the phone. So, I started looking for a solution. I did some research about renewable energy and found a particular battery called a lithium-ion battery, which was the best at that time, though expensive.

Faced with electricity challenges way back in my formative years at the university, and coupled with the lack of financial resources to afford a generator, I thought of developing a battery storage system to power my phone and fan and then light up my bulbs. I did it eventually. Subsequently, I was able to deal with a functional lithium-ion battery pack that could power my room for 24 hours straight non-stop. I also installed a solar panel to support it. It was during my final year at the university that I made up my mind to construct an electric bike and car.

Most of the materials for the bike are from craps from junkyards. After sketching the design for the bike, I built a prototype to just see whether it would work. I did not just want to make a bike that could move but a functional one. I made the prototype in 2019. I sourced the materials for the prototype from an electric motor and bicycles and it worked. When I started serving at the CTD at the polytechnic, I wanted to build an electric car. I met the head of the department and presented the idea to him. He was interested and told me to write something like a proof of concept, which I did. I showed him the photo of my prototype (bike) and he said it (the idea) could work. A few months later, I think it was in May, he told me that he liked the idea but advised me to try something small, so I decided to build an electric bike.

I got funding from the department and I would not say it was cheap but I planned to use recycled materials as much as possible. But the prototype cost me about N70,000. I didn’t have a problem with the prototype; it could run for 30 kilometres but the problem was that I was on a tight budget. I had to use some of its parts for the Green Raven electric bike. I bought the battery gauge to tell me the amount of energy left. I also bought the controller.

It is powered by a brushless DC hub motor embedded in the rear wheel. It runs on 1,500 watts but the peak from the motor is 2,400 watts. It is powered by a 60-volt battery which can get me an average range of 40 kilometres and more, depending on how one rides it. It runs on battery only and the charging time is three hours when it is empty.

I will make some improvements. I plan to add a USB charging port for smartphones and a phone holder so that the phone could serve as the speedometer. The bike does not have a speedometer. Maybe in the future, I want the bike to serve as an energy source to power a living room.

It can take more than one but it would not be comfortable. I sometimes carry my brother. I actually have another bike I’m working on. It is going to be a full bike, with a seat for two passengers. I am planning to go commercial if I can find my way. For now, I don’t have any partnership, no offer yet.

I’m not sure the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is aware of my achievement but of course, I want some support. I think it can support me.

What I want is an electric car. I could only build a bike due to the level of funding I have and use the medium to gain more knowledge. My main goal is an electric car. I need support but I don’t bother myself about it. My spirit won’t be dampened if I don’t get such support.

My siblings made the first post on my invention. They recorded a video. My family was happy. My dad was surprised. He is a quantity surveyor and my mum is a health officer. All my life, I always wanted to study something related to engineering and I’m thinking about it now.

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