London, September 26 : Scientists have invented a solar-assisted bicycle that gives riders extra pedal power.
According to a report in the Times, the bicycle, called a Cycle Sol, has been invented by Miroslav Miljevic, 40, as an eco-friendly form of transport.
The bright yellow device operates like a normal pedal cycle but has a canopy lined with solar cells overhead.
When the user pedals in the sunshine the rays charge a battery that powers an electric motor in the back wheel, propelling the bike at speeds of up to 15mph. It also lowers the resistance in pedalling to make it easier to go up hills.
Miljevic, a London-based designer, said that the motor can be fully charged while the bike is chained up outside on a sunny day. When the sun is not shining, the bike can be charged by mains electricity.
The Cycle Sol is in the concept stage, but Miljevic hopes to be able to mass-produce it once he has found a manufacturer.
According to Miljevic, "It is just like an electric bike but the motor runs on a battery powered by solar energy. You can leave it outside the office during the day to top up the rechargeable, ready for the ride home."
"These days solar cells are pretty good at picking up the lowest amount of light so it should still work when the skies are cloudy," he added.
"The handlebars are positioned on either side of the seat so you can lean back for a comfortable ride," said Miljevic. "And if the worst happens and it rains, the roof will keep you dry," he added.