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Revolutionizing Urban Mobility: Tricycles Go Green with Funtay’s CNG Innovation

By Ufuoma Ese
Tricycles form a symphony of urban life. Often overshadowed by their larger and more powerful counterparts in the transportation industry, they play a crucial yet often under-appreciated role in facilitating mobility, particularly in densely populated urban areas and developing regions. These three-wheeled vehicles, propelled by human power or small engines, offer a versatile and accessible mode of transportation that addresses various needs, from short-distance commuting to goods delivery. Despite their humble appearance, tricycles contribute significantly to the transportation ecosystem, offering solutions to challenges such as congestion, environmental sustainability, and accessibility.
Often regarded as the unsung heroes of urban mobility, tricycles are undergoing a transformative evolution, thanks to the pioneering efforts of companies like Funtay Integrated Business Limited.
At the recently concluded 2024 Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES), Funtay unveiled a ground-breaking innovation poised to revolutionize the transportation landscape: the conversion of traditional petrol motor tricycles to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). This strategic shift marks a monumental advancement in the quest for sustainable and eco-friendly transportation solutions, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions.
Engr. Martins Erabor, the Business Development Officer of Funtay Integrated Business Limited, shed light on the vision driving this ground-breaking initiative in an exclusive interview with Valuechain. “We are tackling head-on the challenges associated with petrol motor spirit (PMS) by introducing a clean, efficient, and cost-effective alternative,” he explained. Funtay’s ingenious technology involves retrofitting tricycles with a CNG cylinder positioned behind the passenger seat, retaining the original fuelling mechanism while enabling a seamless transition from petrol to gas-powered operation.
The efficiency and sustainability of the CNG system are nothing short of remarkable. With an installed capacity of 30 kilograms of compressed gas, each tricycle can cover approximately 100 kilometres when filled to 80% capacity. This not only extends mileage but also reduces operational costs and significantly mitigates carbon emissions, contributing to a cleaner and healthier urban environment.
However, as with any innovative solution, challenges and considerations emerge. Questions arise regarding passenger comfort and safety, particularly with the CNG cylinder positioned behind the passengers’ heads. Additionally, concerns about the availability of specialized mechanics trained to work on these converted tricycles underscore the importance of a skilled workforce to support maintenance and repairs for CNG systems.
Nevertheless, the adoption of CNG technology aligns harmoniously with Nigeria’s broader energy diversification goals. With vast reserves of natural gas waiting to be tapped, the nation stands on the cusp of an energy revolution. Funtay’s pioneering initiative not only harnesses this abundant domestic resource but also positions Nigeria as a frontrunner in sustainable transportation innovation on the global stage, paving the way for a greener and more prosperous future. Tricycles, once merely a symphony of urban life, are now poised to orchestrate a sustainable transportation renaissance.