The prices of gasoline are highly volatile in India and while it doesn’t make much of a difference to the rich class, autorickshaws, which are the primary mode of private transportation in the country, have become a costly affair. While metropolitan cities such as New Delhi have abandoned gas-powered autorickshaws for much cleaner CNG-powered ones, other cities in the country are still getting polluted by these three-wheeled taxis.
A team of engineering students at the PSNA College of Engineering and Technology in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu, have come up with novel idea of reducing emissions and operating cost of this humble three-wheeler. The team has designed a hybrid autorickshaw that is powered by a combination of wind and solar energy, along with gasoline.
The autorickshaw can travel up to 96km on a single charge from solar and wind energy generator, after which the gasoline engine kicks in to recharge the battery, thus reducing emissions by up to 90 percent. The team has spent about $5000 on the conversion, with a major chunk of the amount being spent on the wind turbine.