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@Kaustubh Katdare • 14 Jul, 2014 • 7 likes
While many of Indian electrical engineers are writing & testing software for the big IT services companies, here's comes an inspiration - Mr. Naveen Rabelli. 33 year old Mr. Rabelli has built a solar powered electric auto rickshaw and wants to drive it all the way from Bangalore to London. Ribelli plans to start his journey sometime next year and travel 9600 kilometers through 10 countries to promote green and environment friendly travel.

Rabelli says that 'tuk-tuk' aka auto rickshaw is an Indian icon and there can't be a better way to travel in India. His auto rickshaw does not pollute any way because it's completely solar powered; Rabelli informed Reuters at a lakeside in Bangalore while test-driving it. Rabelli worked for Reva - the electric car from Mahindra and Mahindra owned company that makes two-seater electric vehicles. He informed that he's been working on his tuk-tuk for over two years.


The bright red colored e-rickshaw has been named 'Tejas' and is equipped with a new electric motor, battery system and a gearbox. The batteries are charged by an array of solar cells mounted all over the roof and the side walls. The batteries take about 8 hours to charge and drive the rickshaw to ~50 miles ( about 80 kilometers). 5 hours of exposure to sunlight will add another 16 miles (~25 km) to the overall range of the rickshaw. That means Rabelli will have to prepare for a lot of stops throughout his journey.

The project cost Rabelli about $6000 (approximately Rs. 3,60,000) and he plans to modify his rickshaw further to fix the flooring and buy a Li-Ion battery to replace the current lead-acid battery. He's considered the fuel economy as well. While a traditional auto-rickshaw would need about $4 - $5 to travel 100 km, Tejas will do it just for under $1.

We wish Rabelli all the best for his journey and taking up environment friendly travel seriously! If you have any suggestions for Rabelli about making his rickshaw better and add a few more miles to the range; share them through the comments below.

Source: IBN
@Ramani Aswath • 14 Jul, 2014 • 3 likes Li iron phosphate battries have shown long life (>2000 c/d cycles). They are also tolerant to various charge/discharge abnormalities. Rabelli can consider these batteries, which are already being tried for high power auto applications.
@Rajni Jain • 14 Jul, 2014 Great innovation, HATS OFF.

Along with the life of the battery, for the solar powered rickshaw he needs to ensure this gets charged sooner (5 hrs seems a lot, It would be great if he can further brings it down to ~2 hours).
@Ramani Aswath • 14 Jul, 2014 In the Northern latitudes he will be moving in for his trip to London, the peak insolation energy is unlikely to be more than 700 to 800 W/Sq.Mtr. Even with the best commercial panels this means that the peak output will be about 150 to 16 W/Sq.Mtr. This is for vertical incidence of radiation, which is quite unlikely in a moving vehicle. The size of the vehicle imposes restrictrictions on the total collection area. All this may lead to charging limitations.

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