Young Peshawar engineers build solar-powered rickshaw

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Young engineering students in Peshawar have found the perfect solution to run commercial vehicles without the need of expensive petrol or CNG fuel.

Students of CECOS University in Peshawar’s Hayatabad area say they have built a working prototype of a solar-powered rickshaw that will not only save drivers the fuel costs, but will also be environment-friendly.

“We want to provide the local public such transportation means which are clean, free from noise pollution, will save the expense of petrol, and are also safe for the drivers and passengers,” says Mohammad Hilal Khan, the head of the project team that built the ‘green rickshaw’.

The environment-friendly rickshaw is completely automatic, and can attain speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour.

Compared to regular rickshaws, the vehicle does not have a CNG or petrol-based engine but is equipped with batteries that are charged through electricity generated from solar energy.

“This is the cheapest form of energy — it reduces our dependency on petrol, diesel or any such fuel," says student Ali Shah Khan, who was involved in the project.

The ‘green rickshaw’ project, aimed at introducing environment-friendly transportation in the local market, was funded by the Directorate of Science and Technology in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at a cost of just under Rs300,000 (USD3,000).

The young engineers say that, if properly supported by the government, the idea can be introduced into the public transport system.

“We need to further improve this and take it to the commercial level so that we can also improve durability. The idea can be improved if supported by the government,” says Suhaib Khan, a teacher supervising the students on the project.

The young engineers are hopeful that the technology will also help in reducing road traffic accidents.