Friday, September 25, 2009

The Soleckshaw

The Soleckshaw has recently been unveiled in India as a solution to India's congested roads and air pollution. With a carbon footprint of zero, the Soleckshaw is an eco-friendly alternative to motorized vehicles. It's modeled after the traditional rickshaw, but in an effort to revamp their downtrodden image, the Soleckshaw has been redesigned to include a 36-volt battery and 28 solar panels. As it is motor-assisted, there is less of a physical burden on the rickshaw puller. Since the Soleckshaw costs almost three-times as much as a traditional wooden rickshaw, India's Center for Rural Development, an organization that has been helping rickshaw pullers for years, along with India's government is coming up with a plan to guarantee loans to potential Soleckshaw drivers so they can purchase their own vehicles and then pay back the loan in daily installments of 30-40 rupees. Under the traditional rickshaw plan, rickshaw pullers must pay a daily rental fee, and most never get to own their own vehicle.

News story at the Times:

More technical details about the Soleckshaw:

More information about rickshaws, their pullers, their plight, and what is being done:

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