If you are still questioning whether solar can supply enough power for a vehicle to go on for miles and miles, Naveen Rabelli, an Indian electrical engineer, is here to take all your doubts away. He is going to attempt reaching London from Bangalore India only with his electricity and solar powered tuk-tuk.
The new and improved customized fully electric tuk-tuk is a product of two years of hard work and dedication. Rabelli gave his rickshaw a new battery, a new gearbox, a new motor, new color and even a new name- Tejas (meaning brilliance). Although it does not have the fancy appearance of Terra Motor’s Electric three-wheeler, Tejas still looks super cool with its a roof made of solar panels, which provide power to the battery. After eight hours of sun exposure, the electric tuk-tuk is able to travel for roughly 50 miles, while with additional five hours, it could continue going for another 16 miles.
Rabelli has just a few more bits to change before he goes. These include a new lithium-ion battery that will be a much better substitute for the relatively old and not so efficient lead-acid power source that is currently in use. Ideally, he would also like to reinforce the rickety flooring. The only thing that is stopping him is the lack of cash. His project is now nearing $6000, and he will need to raise just a bit more to be able to accomplish his plan.
The trip is planned to begin next year, when Rabelli will jump on his tuk-tuk and drive it from Bangalore to Mumbai, take a boat to Iran, then through the Persian Gulf, Turkey, Bulgaria, cross Europe and drive all the way to Calais, France, where he will take a ferry to the UK. Rabelli will travel together with Raoul Kopacka, an Austrian film maker, who will be documenting the trip. He was selected purely based on his physical appearance, and the fact that he can fit on the mattress that will be placed in the back of the vehicles and used for sleeping.
Although it looks like the trip will be long, with quite a number of stops to charge in between, Rabelli is convinced that this is the most brilliant way to initiate and promote environmentally friendly and very cheap travel. He has estimated that for less than $1 and zero emissions, he will easily drive 100km.
Image (c) Reuters