Think back to when you were in school. If you were super lucky, you had at least one great teacher who saw your potential, nurtured it, and helped you believe in it, too. Samuel Aboagye, a 17-year-old student from the Ghanian capital Accra, has such a teacher. Both Aboagye’s high school science teacher and YouTuber Efo Selasi, who highlights African entrepreneurs and innovators on his channel, have helped the world learn about the young inventor’s solar-powered electric scooter.
Aboagye said he built the initial scooter primarily using scrap wood and normal, non-specialty hand tools. Other parts were scavenged, too—including around 10 recycled mobile phone batteries and a motor sourced from his mom’s sewing machine. This machine is once again proof that if you have a dream, and you have what you need to make it happen, you don’t always need special parts or fancy tools to make it work.
According to Aboagye, the main purpose of the scooter is to help people with leg amputations get around. This design only requires that a rider have hands and arms to operate it, so it can be an assistive device in that way. It can charge just by plugging it into a standard power outlet, but the addition of the solar cell on the back means that with average use, it only needs to be plugged in about once a week.
Like many inventors, Aboagye isn’t shy about incorporating his previous inventions into his new ones. This hand-built scooter is a pretty excellent project on its own, but he also integrated a Bluetooth speaker he’d previously designed into the finished project. It’s neatly hidden away behind a panel, and has both an SD card slot and the ability to pull in most Ghanaian radio stations so you can listen to what you like on the road
So far, there’s only one of these scooters in the world. However, the Vintagent interviewed both Aboagye and science teacher Sam Hagan about the project. In the course of the interview, the Vintagent discussed the possibility of Aboagye building a second one for display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles in 2022. Here’s hoping we’ll get to see Aboagye’s design get even more of the acclaim it deserves.
Currently, Selasi, the Vintagent, and others are working to help Aboagye pursue higher education in engineering. If you’re interested in helping, check out the links in our Sources.