With rising air pollution levels and government’s adoption of desperate measures, it may be well fitting that technology provides the way forward to combat the most existential threat. So, students at NSIT are doing just that, by riding on the successful launch of ‘Strike’ – the solar powered e-rickshaw.
It all started when Vikram Pratap Singh entered a competition where he presented this model, with the help of his professor, Mr. Ranjit Singh as his constant source of motivation to work on something that would affect the world on a greater scale. The solar e-rickshaw took him almost 2 years of research, after which, Vikram connected with a junior, Taranpreet Singh, who eventually became his business partner. Abhishek Kumar, a mechanical engineering student, soon, also joined their team. The three then, took it upon themselves to come up with a business model and build a prototype with their own investments. After putting in efforts for 15-16 hours in the factory for days, they finally had their first solar powered e-rickshaw, ready in March 2016.
The solar e-rickshaw is fitted with nine solar panels which are placed at the angles where it’s possible to capture the most amount of sunlight in all seasons, producing almost 360w power. It also has four lead acid batteries and both the batteries and solar panels together give the solar e-rickshaw 50 percent more mileage than a normal e-rickshaw. The cost of this solar e-rickshaw is around Rs. 1.2 lacs only, which is the same as a normal rickshaw.
Pawan Singh, a solar e-rickshaw driver admits that, “the solar e-rickshaw can carry around 5-6 passengers at a time and is way more efficient than a regular e-rickshaw as it does not require any charging for at least five hours”. He rides it to and fro from college to the nearest metro station everyday.
The solar e-rickshaw has had about three months of success now. The only thing that stops the three students from turning this into a business is the lack of funds. However, we at NSIT, believe that the ever-successful trio will overcome this hurdle as smoothly as they did all the previous ones and come out of it like true champions.
We wish them all the very best and wait for the day when the solar e-rickshaw becomes a common sight on the streets, ferrying the students of the very college, where its idea was conceived by a few brilliant minds.
Guest post for DU Beat by Rashmi Gehi, Student of NSIT