A group of Linköping University students working at a new company in Nairobi have been converting exiting safari vehicles into fully electric, solar powered automobiles able to silently roam in the jungle and get tourists closer to the wildlife than ever before.
Led by Filip Lövström who is studying Energy – Environment – Management (EMM), a master’s programme in engineering at Linköping, OpiBus is a company that is fast rising and now has a work force of over 20 persons, majority of which are Kenyans.
“We’re not trying to ‘save the world’. People’s view of many parts of Africa is deep-rooted; we don’t want to uphold the idea that the locals have to be saved. We’re building up a serious company, and the safari parks are very interested in what we’re doing. The region in general has a huge growth potential that rarely gets any attention. The safari parks see the investment in electric vehicles as a natural step, and we already have several customers booked.”, says Filip Lövström.
The company removes the diesel engines and all the parts that are related to internal combustion drive then install pre-assembled boxes that contain all the components for electric drive.
The result is a fully electric safari Land Cruiser like the one below.
Although their activities are currently limited to Kenya, the group plans to expand this technology to other East African nations in the coming years.
Here is a video below courtesy of BBC.
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