The humble cycle rickshaw has received a modern makeover. Developed by the state-run Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, the "soleckshaw" is India's state-of-the-art, solar-powered solution to the country's traffic woes, chronic pollution and fossil-fuel dependence.
With a top speed of 15 kilometres per hour, the motorised cycle rickshaw can either be pedalled normally or run on a 36-volt solar battery. When fully charged, the battery is able to power the rickshaw for about 50 to 70 kilometres. Drivers can deposit used batteries at a centralised solar-powered charging station and replace them for a nominal fee.
And it's not just the environment that is benefitting: It's also less stressful on Delhi's 500,000 pullers.
Source : Discovery Channel Magazine, March 2009