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Whilst more difficult to make truly sustainable, solar vehicles are making great progress in our efforts to limit production of Carbon Emissions from transport.  Two interesting solar vehicles have been produced in the UK and 15 in India which were used for the International Solar Rallies of India and are now on exhibition at the Vintage and Classic Car Garage in Udaipur Rajashan when not being used for the world’s first solar taxi service set up by James Moss in 2004.

The Solar Bajaj operates on a daily basis in and around Leatherhead in Surrey during the summer travelling in 2004 over 1,000 miles with the sun as the sole power.    The Indian auto rickshaw was converted to electric by removing the petrol engine and putting 2 Lynch motors, connected in series, on the back wheels.

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On the roof are 4 x 85 Watt  BP solar panels which now charge 4 x 16 Volt Thundersky Lithium Ion batteries which replaced 4 very heavy Lead Acid traction batteries.   In 2006 it completed the Battery Vehicle Society (BVS) London to Brighton run and is capable of 35 miles from the batteries and 20 miles per day from the solar panels.   Future solar vehicles will be lighter with more efficient wheels and tyres but it serves to illustrate that as commuting vehicles to the station or local office, school runs and local shopping they are more than satisfactory with the added advantage of no fuel costs, MOT, road tax and only GBP 50 insurance. 

Several solar vehicles have been made in the UK and exported to India for participation in the International Solar Rallies of India and then given by their sponsors to the Maharana Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF).

Solar No1 was made by Garmendale Engineering Ltd of Ilkeston Derbyshire for the Moss Family and appeared on BBC Tomorrows World before travelling part of the way from Jaipur to Udaipur.  

Solar No1 is a light weight efficient 4 wheeled solar vehicle which originally had 8 x 80 Watt panels that were reduced to 6 panels for safety and for the reason that 480 Watts was sufficient power for the 2 x 12 Volt batteries operating at 24 Volts.  It reaches a speed of 40 kph and has carried 4 passengers for 100 kilometres in a day. 

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Solar No1

Solar No 2, sponsored by Euromoney Investor PLC, and the Moss Family was made by Cycles Maximus of Bristol for The BBC Tomorrow’s World Road Show and was cycled from the NEC Birmingham to Earls Court.  After appearing on the Tomorrows World Awards Ceremony it was exhibited in the Science Museum and a Euromoney Publications conference before shipping to India.

Solar No 2
Ronnie Woods in Solar No 2

Solar No 2 is based on the London cycle taxi with 2 x 85 Watt solar panels on the roof and power from a Lynch motor.  It gives a good illustration of power from the panels and a human as it is generally accepted "that a person can" when cycling produce 85 Watts; so the roof panels are equivalent to 2 cyclists power, which does not stop working at traffic lights or during lunch, the power being stored in 2 x 12 Volt batteries.

Solar No 3

Solar No 3 sponsored by Harvest Energy was built in Udaipur by the Palace Garage Team led by A V Singh.   The hybrid drive is from pedals and a Lynch motor attached to the front wheel with the power being provided by 3 x 75 Watt solar panels producing 36 Volts from 3 x 12 Volt Lead Acid batteries. It has excellent performance up hills, can carry 3 passengers and is substantially built.

Solar No 4 is known as the ‘Boys Toy ‘ as it was built by James and Simon Moss from an Indian cycle rickshaw parts bought in Delhi and assembled in Udaipur with the addition of a Heinzmann hub motor on the front wheel, 2 x 75 watt solar panels and 2 x 12V small lead acid batteries.  It is very robust having been in 2 crashes and overturned.  Like the other solar vehicles it was presented to Arvind Singh Mewar of the MMCF at a grand ceremony in the Old City Palace and Simon Moss, then aged 13, made the often quoted statement “When I am old the Oil Age will have passed” 

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Malcolm Moss with Solar No 4

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Solar no 5

Solar no 5 is a star, sponsored by Petrex and built in the UK by the remarkable and brilliant engineer Cedric Lynch.  It is so efficient it covered 150 kilometres, carrying 4 passengers, in 1 day just from the solar power.  It has 6 x 85 Watt panels and is based on a light weight frame with 4 mountain bike wheels with low friction hubs.  Power is from a 200 mm Lemco Lynch permanent magnet motor and incorporates a Brusa controller which has regenerative braking .  

Solar No 6 sponsored by Douglas Boller is a converted Bajaj Kawasaki KB 100cc motorcycle.  The engine is replaced with an Etec Lynch motor and Brusa controller and instead of petrol the power is stored in 2 x 85 Amp/hr Li Ion batteries.  It is used daily by the garage staff for errands around town and is recharged from a portable solar bike shed that keeps the bike cool whilst charging. 

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 Douglas and Lianne Boller
riding Solar No 6

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Solar no 7 was sponsored by the Donald Family and was built in the UK by 2EV in Cornwall.   It is based on the Piaggio small truck and with its large engine had impressive acceleration and a top speed of 85 kph.   It is now used as the “Mother ship” charging from the 6 x 85 Watt solar panels the electric scooters and motorbikes Solar Nos 10 – 15. 

Solar No 8 was designed by Neil McClaren a young cycle enthusiast who was sponsored by Collinda to work on new designs for solar rickshaws in Udaipur.  The vehicle is extremely easy to drive and steer but even with 7 gears is hard to pedal due to the absence of a free wheel shortly to be fitted. 

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Solar No 8

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Malcolm Moss driving No 9

Solar No 9 made in the Palace garage at Udaipur incorporates many of the best features of the earlier models.  Sole drive is a Lynch motor on the front wheel.  It has 3 x 75 Watt solar panels and 3 x 65 Amp/hr lead acid batteries.  It is a very convenient town vehicle and a similar vehicle is being built for the testing programme/taxi service at the University.



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