The award-winning 2008 BUV (basic utility vehicle) created by Alfred State College mechanical engineering seniors, under the guidance of their project advisers, SUNY (State University of New York) Distinguished Service Professor and Department Chair Dr. Edward Tezak, and Ray Gleason, instructional support technician, has finally reached its destination: Kananga, Congo.
BUVs are, according to the Institute for Affordable Transportation (IAT), simple, rugged vehicles that can carry 1,200-pounds of cargo. Their purpose is to help meet peoples’ everyday needs at the ends of the earth. More than cars, BUVs are geared to provide opportunity and freedom, promote trade, and reduce poverty in rural areas of developing countries.
A BUV should be able to be assembled almost anywhere, by almost anyone. The necessary equipment is also very simple: even small repair shops should have the tools to build a BUV. Using primarily off-the-shelf parts, the unassembled BUV skid pack will cost about $1,300 before duties and freight. They are designed for warm climates, slow speeds (up to 20 mph), and unpaved rural roads.
One major challenge in 2008 was to design a three-wheeled vehicle based on the rear clip of a small pick-up truck, with a school bus attachment which connects to the rolling chassis. The bus is intended to serve school children and orphanages in Africa.
Tezak received a message, that after much time and red tape, the BUV reached its destination where it will be used as a mobile library.