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Engineer’s solar cycle doubles up as electric bike

According to reports, a young engineer from the city has developed first of its kind cycle that runs on solar power and also works as electric bike.

With small solar panels installed on a normal cycle, this solar cycle is a zero energy model. After receiving success from its first working model, Abhishek Avrani (29), who had developed the cycle for a school project, plans to make it more affordable for commuters who want to champion the green cause.

“Like any conventional cycle you can pedal this one. If you don’t want to pedal, it works like an electric bike,” says Avrani, who has developed the solar cycle with a battery and an electric motor. “The battery mounted on the cycle gets charged through the small solar panels mounted on the shed of the cycle. There is an electric motor which enables this cycle to work like an electric bike,” says Avrani, an engineering graduate from Vallabh Vidyanagar-based Sardar Patel University, who set up a start-up in 2008 which works on solar based projects. “Advantage of this solar cycle in comparison to electric bike is that you have to leave the electric bike wherever you are once the battery gets discharged. In case of this solar cycle, all you need is to keep it in front of sun shine to charge the battery. Within half-an-hour, it gets sufficient charging to drive for another ten kilometers,” he says. According to Avrani, the battery of the solar cycle developed by him gets sufficient charge in two hours to run nearly 25 kilometres.

“A commuter does not need to hunt for electric points in order to charge the battery. All he or she needs to do is park the cycle at any place where it gets sufficient exposure to sunlight,” says Avrani. He has developed the working model of the solar cycle equipped with speedometer and LED lights which work on lower power input.

While the youngster has developed the first sample that costs Rs 28,000, he is making more changes to the model to make it cheaper and aesthetically appealing to commuters.

“It is already a light-weighted model, but I am modifying it so that it finds greater acceptance among commuters,” he adds.

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