Okafor built solar-powered ‘Keke’ in 21 days, Americans want him for mass production

This is the interesting tale of Anthony Okafor, an auto engineering graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University who is currently playing so big in the renewable energy, solar and auto industry sectors.

Aside from setting up and running Okafor Motors, an auto-making factory as well as solar powering systems based in Enugu, Okafor had in 2020 made news when he unveiled to the world his solar electric powered tricycle built in 21 days.

While discussing the matter and how he came about such an invention, he also sought support for the mass production of the products.

The good news now is that there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Anthony’s humble call has been answered from far away United States by Sustainable Communities Corporation, SCC, an Ohio, based non for profit organisation.
The new partnership is to mass-produce the Solar powered tricycles, and quadricycles for Nigerians to ride

The visibly excited prodigious engineer couldn’t contain his joy and excitement when he told FRED IWENJORA more details about the new partnership which is seen by auto industry watchers as a boost to many calls by Nigeria for increment in its foreign direct investment interests.

On the new partnership, Engr Okafor said the plan is to first set up NrG Company (pronounced energy) and produce several units of solar-powered tricycles named Nikeke ultimately boosting Nigeria’s transportation system as well as providing for its operators and lifting them out from the poverty index.

According to him “If you would ask me if I believe in angel investors, my answer is definitely yes. Do I also believe in predestination? Oh yes!

“The reality before me after the prototype development was that my dreams will remain mere dreams. But somehow, I kept the faith against all odds and today my instincts have been proven right.

“Sustainable Communities Corporation located in the United States has proposed a partnership with Okafor Motors, to start mass production of solar-electric powered tricycles under a new entity called Nrg Corporation, with ‘Nrg’ pronounced as ‘energy.’ I feel excited I must confess.”

Under this partnership, so many options will be explored. Together with mass production of the prototype, we are also considering several other modifications inclusive of quadracycles and electric bikes.

Other than financing this new partnership, SCC via their subsidiary, WinBat company, will be deploying their hemp battery technology, ensuring that our solar-electric tricycles will become a serious contender with the conventional gasoline tricycles.

Speaking on the four years wait since the launching of the prototype, he hinted that “this is definitely a dream come true. Four years since the prototype was developed, we kept the faith, believing this project will get to mass production phase.

“Let me explain to you that it wasn’t an easy ride waiting within the past 4 years. However, we utilized these waiting periods in modifying our designs, testing out various models to determine which of them is best suited for the local market.

“Going forward and based on our research and development within the past four years, we are confident of launching at least two different models of this product, one will be a 3 seater plus driver tricycle and the second will be a 6 seater plus driver quadracycle.

Jeff Greene, a spokesperson for SCC/winBat also full of hopes on the new relationship described it as a

“Nigerian Success Story”

Greene said; “In June 2020, the story of Anthony Obinna Okafor, a Nigerian engineer/entrepreneur, who built a 3-wheel solar/plugin hybrid electric passenger vehicle in just 21 days went viral. The vehicle was said to run for about a 70 km range on a single charge. Anthony’s plan was to mass produce that solar electric tricycle.

He said his greatest challenge was obtaining the capital needed for volume production. Persistence is the name of the game and Anthony has succeeded in locating a manufacturing partner from the United States, in the form of an Ohio based economic development non-profit company called Sustainable Communities Corporation (SCC).

”SCC with Okafor motors led by Engr Anthony Okafor will be establishing a new for-profit subsidiary in Nigeria called NrG Company (pronounced “energy”) and will partner with Anthony and his team to not only produce the vehicle under the trade name “Nikeke,” but all manner of batteries under the trade name “NiBat” and other energy related products in the future. In the near term NrG Co. will also perform battery and plastic recycling.

NrG will initially produce the NiBat batteries needed for the Nikeke vehicle, followed by others for a wide spectrum of other applications. In addition, SCC will be forming a leasing company to make it easier for Nigerians to obtain the Nikekes.

SCC is already in the energy business having formed a Wisconsin based subsidiary called Wisconsin Battery Company (WinBat).

WinBat will not only produce conventional batteries but, in pursuit of its sustainability mission, WinBat is also developing two new environmentally friendly battery technologies.
NrG Company will have the full rights to deploy those new battery technologies in Nigeria and throughout the rest of Africa.

Greene, CEO of Wisconsin Battery Company affirmed his pleasure in the partnership with Okafor Motors, Anthony and his Nigerian team, and looks forward to bringing the WinBat knowledge, technologies, and funding arrangements to the team, to help fast track this effort in Nigeria.