The PowerCycle is India’s first solar powered electric cycle. While electric cycles have existed across the world in some capacity for a while now, solar cycles are yet to pick up. Solar cycles are - in theory - quite similar to their electric counterparts -- both rely on batteries to improve upon the efficiency and viability of regular bicycles. The difference becomes more prominent when we compare the source of power of one -- electric sockets -- to that of the other -- the almost everlasting, easily renewable, Sun. In developed countries this may seem to be a superficial difference, after all, the entire economy relies on electricity. However, in developing countries, like India, where a large percentage of the population still lacks access to electricity, this is deal-maker. Here, workers go about their business in sweltering heat day after day. Here, the PowerCycle can make a difference.
Since the PowerCycle closely resembles the electric cycle, it is perhaps half-fair to consider those the primary competitors and electric vehicles our industry. However, the other half of the truth is that the true competitor of the PowerCycle is none other than a regular bicycle. To understand why, one must understand India.
The PowerCycle has a design similar to that of a regular bicycle, but with a twist -- it has pedals, but also has a motor which is connected to solar panels placed above the PowerCycle seat
Cost per Unit
Mileage on full charge
India is responsible for approximately 10% of the world’s annual bicycle production, which is estimated at 125 Million units (2015). The annual domestic demand of bicycles in India is approximately 10 million units.
India currently has over 100 million people living in poverty, and with expensive petrol and diesel prices, it is evident that cars – electric or not – cannot be India’s primary transportation solution especially for the low income group. This group earn and live paycheck to paycheck -- to them, the most proper vehicle to and from work is not the poonjeepati’s (wealthy man’s) automobile but the modest bicycle.
The PowerCycle aims to service the community at large by harnessing renewable energy resources and tackle the needs of the majority of India by providing them with a stable, affordable, environmentally friendly, accessible form of transportation. PowerCycle powered by abundant solar energy aims to reduce physical labour leading to reduced nutritional demands and increase access to economic opportunities by reducing distances.
PowerCycle an intervention aimed to create change which will indirectly affect the families of users and help create a better life!
The PowerCycle has a design similar to that of a regular bicycle, but with a twist -- it has pedals, but also has a motor which is connected to solar panels placed above the PowerCycle seat.
ANAND KRISHNA GOYAL
STUDENT, The British School
Age 16 years
The birth of the PowerCycle took place as soon as I took physics in grade 11. Being a proactive member in society and always looking for a way to apply sciences to real life lead me to this innovation. I came up with this idea when I visited some of the low income group schools where we had created a library as an out-reach program. As I saw the students arriving I saw that they were riding their cycles in peak of summer sweating profusely. This shocked me, on further questioning I found out that some of them has traveled up to 20 kms and many had only had a banana for breakfast. This caloric intake was not enough for the activity they were doing and could reduce their life span. I felt this urge to solve this problem and came up with the idea of the PowerCycle. With the help of my coach, an environmental engineer, I was able to come up with a design in which we fitted a solar panel on a regular bicycle in such a way that the caloric usage of a person decreases greatly and it also acts like a shade on their head.
Further research to reduce the cost will only add more power to PowerCycle.