The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in partnership with the Technical University of Munich, has constructed a solar-powered 4×4 vehicle.
The environmentally friendly vehicle, meant to carry passengers and goods, was inaugurated by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the 51st congregation of the KNUST in Kumasi, on Saturday.
It was developed by the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Physics, and comes as a breakthrough as the nation searches for ways to build a more robust automobile industry.
Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, said the invention was the University’s response to living up to its core mandate of spearheading development of innovative technologies.
The solar-powered vehicle, he said, was still being tested and tried over some period with the hope of fine-tuning it in order to bring it to standard. When completed it could become the first solar-powered 4×4 vehicle to be manufactured on the African continent.
Prof Obiri-Danso hinted that the University’s College of Engineering, had in recent times invented an open-space fire detector, solar-powered traffic lights and drones to support the nation’s development processes.
He called for adequate funding of research activities of the University to enable it come out with cutting-edge technologies for the benefit of the nation.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who is also Chancellor of the KNUST, lauded the team of researchers who worked on the project, and expressed the hope that it would encourage the government to be more interested in resourcing the University for more of such innovations.
A total of 9, 160 post and under-graduate students passed out of this year’s congregation from the six colleges of the University.
This comprised the College of Science, College of Health Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Art and Built Environment, as well as the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.