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PHOTO CAPTION: Eco Free Cab uses solar energy to charge batteries.

Solar Hybrid Rickshaw Enters India Book of Records

Three-seat ricksaw has range of up to 150 km on battery charge and top speed of 45 km/h.

Published: 14-Aug-2012

Chennai, INDIA - With virtually all modes of transport going the hybrid way, here’s news that could make the rickshaw - which is now restricted to a few Indian cities and pockets of Asia - a possible mode of public transport. Twenty-six-year-old Sivaraj Muthuraman, a Tirupur-based innovator, has built a ‘hybrid’ rickshaw called the Eco Free Cab, that runs on solar battery and pedal power. This invention entered the India Book of Records under the Science and Technology Category on Saturday.

A three-seater vehicle that can run a distance of about 150 km per battery charge, the Eco Free Cab has a top speed of 45 km per hour. Vivek Raja, adjudicator, India Book of Records, said, “If we can control the process of burning fuel, pollution can be brought down drastically. Such inventions go a long way in controlling the greenhouse gas effect. Sivaraj’s invention, hence, is laudable.” Dr Manoj Beno, Medical Director, Billroth Hospital, was also present on the occasion.

The invention was to be updated on the Record Book’s website on Sunday. Speaking to City Express, Sivaraj said, “About two-and-half years ago, I felt that someone must breathe life into the rickshaw. It was then that I took this up as a project. Rickshaw-wallahs, if you notice, have more or less disappeared. They must be provided training on how to use the vehicle and be provided with a means of livelihood.”

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