Jelani Aliyu, a Nigerian working at the US-based world’s largest automaker, General Motors (GM) plant in Detroit, has recorded a major breakthrough in the automotive industry in the US, with the design of a state-of-the-art electric car.
“Chevy Volt“, described as an “American Revolution” A statement issued in New York by GM Tuesday, stated: “GMˋs most electrifying advanced technology vehicle is the Chevrolet Volt concept, a battery-powered, extended-range electric passenger vehicle”. “It uses a gas engine to create additional electricity. The technology behind the Volt concept, GMˊs E-flex System, allows electricity to be produced from gasoline, ethanol, bio-diesel or hydrogen, helping to provide a global solution to diversifying transportation energy sources,” it said. The statement added, that the car was developed by its lead designer “a soft spoken native of Nigeria and 1994 alumni of CCS, Jelani Aliyu after a 10-month marathon sprint to bring the Volt to reality”. The CCS is the College for Creative Studies for automobile design in the US and it produces designers for all the automakers in the country.
“The marathon started with tough competition amongst eight designers and their concepts that were developed in two short months, with 7 of the 8 scale model concepts reviewed and eliminated,” it noted.
According to the statement, “Jelaniˋs model…design incorporates many design elements to complement the electric technology driving the car as well as his love of nature and the ergonomics of a vehicle one can enjoy nature in”.
Aliyu, who hails from the north-western state of Sokoto, was born in 1966 in Kaduna and is married with two children. He attended Capital School, Sokoto and Federal Government College in the same town, where he received an award as a student in technical drawing and creative art.
In an interview with PANA on telephone from Detroit, Aliyu said: “The Chevy Volt is my concept and design and was last week showcased at a motor show in Detroit and will also feature in another one this week in Washington DC”.
“I draw a lot and also designed my own cars and even built scale models of them, complete with exteriors and interiors, so that is from where I get my inspiration,” he said. He said that he had a brief stint at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, where he initially planned to study architecture, but later got a scholarship from the Sokoto government to study in the US.
“In 1990, I got admitted into the College for Creative Studies (CCS), Detroit, Michigan, in the United States to study Automobile Design and completed my four-year degree programme in 1994,” the auto designer said.
Aliyu also said that during his studies he received two awards from Ford Motor Company and Michelin, US.
He began work in GM in 1997, as part of a design team for the Buick Rendezvous, which he served as its lead interior designer, before he was transferred to Germany to work at GMˋs division in Europe in 1999.
He is now a senior and lead exterior designer at GM headquarters, where he is working on various GM models, with some of them now on sale in the US, Canada and Europe.
CO2 and the Environment
By contrast, a 30 -kilometers range plug-in hybrid might consume 5kW hours of electricity. Given transmission line and battery losses, it would take about 5 pounds of coal to go the same distance.
That’s just 7 pounds to drive those 30 kilometers on electric power-only compared to the 24 pounds of the petrol-only car. And since ethanol is virtually CO2-neutral, a flexible fuel plug-in hybrid would produce two-thirds less CO2 emissions than a gasoline-engine car.