Solar rickshaw to help fight global warming

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New Delhi, Oct 2 (UNI) The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has brought forward a solution for the twin problems of employment generation and mitigation of global warming by giving shape to a solar-electric rickshaw for eco-friendly urban transport, which is also being touted as the CSIR's Nano for the poor people.

More than 60 per cent increase in the green house gas (GHG) emission is from transport sector. Currently, no powered vehicle or transport system is free from carbon dioxide emission. The dual powered 'Solechshaw' with its zero carbon foot print and the trend of the widespread use, is expected to reverse global warming and protect the planet from the perils of climate change, Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said after the launch of 'Solechshaw' here today.

Its wisespread use will also enhance energy security by reducing the world's dependence on limited fossil fuel. Equipped with novel features, this pedicab is easy to drive, both on plain as well as uphill road, without any strain of imbalance which all the current cycle rickshaws suffer from, he said.

The Mark I version of the 'Soleckshaw' is motor-assisted pedal driven with BLDC hub motor: 240-350 W, 36 V and regenerative capabilities. It has three-wheel braking and a seating capacity of two people. Its payload excluding driver is 200 kg with 15 kmph speed limit. Along with this, this dual-powered rickshaw also has FM radio and mobile search charger.

It has been designed, developed and prototyped by the CSIR's national laboratory, the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) at Durgapur, in a record time of eight months. The accompanying solar charging station for swapping batteries has been set up by the Central Electronics Limited (CEL), a government of India undertaking.

Mr Sibal further thanked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for providing the facility for accomodating the solar charging station at its Delhi Metro Station at Chandni Chowk.

Talking to reporters, Prof Samir K Bharmachari, Secretary, DSIR and DG, CSIR, meanwhile, said with better aesthetics and ergonomics, the cost effectiveness of 'Soleckshaw' has been engineered by optimising the system around the most appropriate commercially available components which would also minimize the capital requirement for a mass manufacturing unit. Innovative business model is being evolved with NGOs, banks, environment-loving corporates and manufacturing organisations to make the rickshaw available to the drivers at an ordinary cost.

While Tatas Nano is for the middle income group, CSIR's eco-friendly rickshaw is the Nano of the poor, he underlined.

The advanced versions of 'soleckshaw Mark II and III with better aesthetics, ergonomics and recumbent driving position is expected to be ready for launch during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, he informed.

UNI ATI RP CS1805

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