The solar cyclist

Cycling around the country and covering 7,424 km in 79 days on his solar-powered electric bicycle, Sushil Reddy, just 26 years old is a fascinating youngster.

Cycling around the country and covering 7,424 km in 79 days on his solar-powered electric bicycle, Sushil Reddy, just 26 years old is a fascinating youngster.

An IIT Bombay B.Tech and M.Tech degree holder this young lad decided to tweak a cycle to turn it into a solar-powered, motor-assisted bicycle.

The path less taken

The route that he took was curated and chosen considering maximum sunshine, favourable terrain, weather and safety for cyclists. Sushil rode across Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to raise solar awareness and to showcase the application.

In Sushil’s words “While working with kWatt Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a solar energy startup in IIT Bombay, I got this idea. I have also seen that solar energy is still new to many people in India and many of them have a lot of doubts and misconceptions regarding its working and benefits. This in a country that is blessed with so much sunlight all through the year”.

The beautiful bicycle

He says, “My designed solar electric bicycle is basically an electric cycle whose battery is charged using solar energy. This electric bicycle reduces your physical effort by upto 50 percent and you reduce your expenses and help reduce your carbon footprint”. The bike is GPS-enabled bicycle and has 240-watt solar panels. The average speed of this cycle is 20 km per hour.

Travel inspiration

As Sushil cycled around, he kept educating people about the benefits of solar power, the financial aspect, along with the idea of net metering and where one can sell the excess solar energy.  The cycle cost approximately Rs 30,000, but while crossing any rough, steep terrain, one has to be careful not to damage the electrical connections, battery or motor. Ending on a happy note Reddy said, “It was a fun yet challenging ride”.