Here’s an interesting take on the traditional pedicab / rickshaw:
The Soleckshaw is still in the trial stages, but the solar powered rickshaw has already people talking and contemplating what the technology could do if these vehicles replace the human-powered kind. The Indian prototype by the Center for Science and Industrial Research has been running in trial stages since October. The dual-powered cycle operates by pedal power and a 36 V 240-350 W battery that gets charged at a solar charging station. It has a carbon footprint of zero, so it doesn’t pollute any more than the traditional version.
The solar version reaches a pretty impressive speed of about 15 kilometres per hour and, fully-charged, the battery can keep going for 50-70 kilometres. The goal is to develop the current four Soleckshaws into more advanced models in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
With top assist speed of under 10 miles per hour and a tiny little hub motor, this isn’t exactly screaming performance. But, with their light weight and decent hauling capabilities, pedicabs could make for an interesting platform to build other electric vehicles…