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Nigeria automaker partners with US group

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Transit operations will be boosted while increasing foreign direct investment.

A recent partnership between Okafor Motors, a pioneering Enugu-based automaker known for its locally made solar electric tricycles, and Sustainable Communities Corporation (SCC), a non-profit organisation from Ohio, USA, has given a significant boost to Nigeria’s efforts to increase foreign direct investment. The collaboration has been formed to establish NrG Company, which will specialise in producing solar-powered tricycles called Nikeke. This initiative aims to enhance Nigeria’s transportation network, support operators, and alleviate poverty within the country.

SCC, known for its collaboration with renowned battery experts at Wisconsin Batteries (WinBat), took notice of Okafor’s innovative prototype solar tricycle and made a commitment to take bold and positive action in response. Anthony Obinna Okafor, the Chief Engineer of Okafor Motors, expressed his excitement about the new partnership. With many successful years in the Nigerian renewable energy sector, he wholeheartedly believes in angel investors and predestination. Despite his dreams becoming a reality with the prototype development, he remains humbled by the journey ahead. He remained optimistic despite facing numerous challenges, and now his intuition has been validated.

Okafor Motors is set to launch two new products after years of research.

The collaboration with Okafor Motors to establish Nrg Corporation will focus on mass-producing solar-electric powered tricycles. The partnership aims to delve into various possibilities, not just limited to the initial prototype production. Along with tricycles, potential modifications such as quadricycles and electric bikes are also being considered for production. In addition to providing financial support for the new partnership, SCC will also be implementing their innovative hemp battery technology through their subsidiary, WinBat company. This will elevate the solar-electric tricycles to compete effectively with traditional gasoline tricycles.

Their dream has finally become a reality after 4 years of hard work. Despite the challenges faced while waiting for mass production, they remained optimistic and made the most of the time by refining designs and testing different models for the local market. After four years of research and development, they are moving ahead with plans to release two new product models. The first will be a three-seater tricycle with a driver, while the second will be a quadricycle able to accommodate six passengers along with a driver.

Securing funds for mass production was Okafor’s main challenge.

Jeff Greene, the spokesperson for SCC/WinBat, highlighted the rationale behind their collaboration with a Nigerian success story. He shared how Anthony Obinna Okafor, a Nigerian engineer/entrepreneur, gained fame in June 2020 for constructing a 3-wheel solar/plugin hybrid electric vehicle within a remarkable timeframe of 21 days. This vehicle could travel up to 70km on a single charge. They had a strategy to produce a large quantity of the solar electric tricycles. He mentioned that the biggest obstacle he faced was securing the funds required for mass production. Persistence played a crucial role in his success, as he managed to find a manufacturing partner in the United States.

Anthony Okafor, leading Okafor Motors in partnership with SCC, will be launching NrG Company in Nigeria. This new for-profit subsidiary, pronounced energy, will collaborate with Anthony and his team to manufacture a variety of products, including vehicles under the brand Nikeke and batteries under the brand NiBat. Additionally, NrG Co. plans to expand its product line to include other energy-related items in the coming years. In an effort to promote sustainability, NrG will be engaging in battery and plastic recycling. The company’s focus will start with producing NiBat batteries for the Nikeke vehicle and expand to cater to various other industries. Furthermore, SCC is planning to establish a leasing company aimed at facilitating Nigerians in acquiring Nikekes hassle-free.

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Lastly, the SCC has established the WinBat subsidiary, operating in Wisconsin and focuses on producing traditional batteries. In addition to traditional batteries, WinBat is innovating two eco-friendly battery technologies as part of its commitment to sustainability. NrG Company will be granted exclusive rights to implement these new battery technologies across Nigeria and other parts of Africa. CEO Greene of Wisconsin Battery Company expressed satisfaction with the collaboration with Okafor Motors, Anthony, and his team from Nigeria. He is excited about sharing WinBat’s expertise, cutting-edge technologies, and financial support to accelerate the project in Nigeria.

Related Link

Okafor Motors: Website

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