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Solar rickshaws in old Delhi soon

 The Government of Delhi will introduce solar rickshaws in the Chandni  Chowk area of old Delhi
 Published on 8/22/2008 6:14:59 PM
 New Delhi: Come Gandhi Jayanti, solar rickshaws will replace man-pulled  pedicabs in the Chandni Chowk area of old Delhi.
 Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, who also represents the  constituency in parliament, on Friday advised the Delhi Chief Minister  Sheila Dikshit to introduce these green vehicles from October 2.
 The rickshaw would weigh 210 kg and would be able to run at a speed of 15  to 20 km per hour, reports IANS.
 It would be run by a solar battery, which would suffice for a journey of  70 km.
 The battery would take five hours to be charged with the help of solar  panels in the charging unit which will be functional above the Delhi metro  stations, an official of the city government said.
 It is expected that these rickshaws would ply within a radius of 3 km from  the Chandni Chowk metro station.
 The solar powered rickshaws in Chandni Chowk would be a pilot project and  its success will pave the way for implementation in other areas.
 Dikshit expressed confidence that the project will be eco-friendly,  passenger-friendly and suitable for a locality like Chandni Chowk.
 The rickshaw would cost approximately Rs 17,000.

 umesh rashmi rohatgi
 Solar Bicycle Rickshaw
A Proposal
 By Umesh Rashmi Rohatgi
 July 31, 2006
 Supported by: People To Support People Foundation
 (PTSPF- A non profitable Organization MI USA)
 Author with a solar cycle at University of Michigan At Dearborn MI USA
 during 2001.

 We wish to popularize solar cycles/cycle rickshaws throughout India  (specially in rural areas) so that

 1) Entrepreneurs can establish profitable businesses renting solar  cycles to villagers.
 2) Villagers will have access to an economical and ecological mode of  transportation that will improve their productivity and quality of life,  time thus saved can be used for extra income.
 3) All Indians seeking to purchase an automobile might see that there  are alternative forms of transportation that can offer uniquely better  value in the Indian context and help avoid deepening the problems of air
 pollution, traffic congestion, and dependence on foreign oil.
 4) Seniors, ladies, Students can use this, to save environment and  dependence on foreign oil.

Opportunity Scenario:
 Today approximately 750 million people live in what is considered rural  India. While the quality of life is improving for some, still others are  fleeing rural India for hopes of a better life in already overcrowded  cities. With improving economic and educational opportunities in rural
 India, we believe that there is ample opportunity for more people to be  gainfully employed and thriving in rural India. The solar cycle program  addresses several of these dimensions.
 A rural household in India today has many of the same appointments as any  household in the urban or developed world. Kids need to get to school,  heads of households need to get to work, market, to the bank, and to the
 doctor. Because these communities are still under-served, these necessary  trips can take up a significant part of the day and thereby effect the  overall productivity of the household.
 Often, if a villager needs to go somewhere beyond walking range, they wait  at the side of the road until a trucker comes by willing to give them a  ride for a fee that they can afford. This method of transportation is time  consuming, unreliable, and sometimes dangerous. What is needed is a
 reliable, cost effective method of transportation that gives rural  households the freedom to travel quickly and safely and at the times and  to the destinations they choose.
 Another primary benefit of the solar cycle program is that it creates a  network of job opportunities that is self generating and sustainable in  rural India. One could consider the network of automobile  manufacture,  distribution, and service in the U.S. with dealerships, service stations,  retailers of accessories, registrars and government regulators and imagine
 a parallel could emerge under a different model in rural India. If the  solar cycle replaced the automobile in rural India's development model,  some of the major differences would be that an infrastructure of gasoline  distribution and delivery would not be required and the negative sprawl
 and environmental effects of the automobile would be avoided. In a matter  of a decade, China has become the leading producer and exporter of light  electric vehicles such as electric bicycles and scooters due in part to  the fact that light electric vehicles meet the needs of rural and lower
 income urban Chinese  better than automobiles could. If India does not develop an indigenous  solution to serve the needs of it's upwardly mobilizing rural population,
 that population will adopt an imported solution and Chinese manufacturers  are currently well positioned to meet that need and capture this  opportunity with the intention of adding as little as possible to the  local Indian economy.
 Program objectives:
 To have 1000 solar cycles in operation within the few years of the  program, 100 in first phase. We seek to involve ten states in the program  with ten centers in each state and ten cycles per center.
 Provide sustainable skills and jobs
 Experts in the field of solar energy and mechanical engineers will provide  training to entrepreneurs in the areas of solar energy and cycle  fabrication and maintenance. The training will be given to them at
 research centers and at their place of residence. The entrepreneurs will  assemble these cycles themselves to gain familiarity with the product and  to keep product acquisition costs low. The training and experience they
 gain could enable the entrepreneurs to expand their businesses to solar  lanterns, solar streetlights for rural use or other solar energy based  solutions.
 It will be self-generating later on as people will mentor others and bank  will help.
 It is anticipated that the program will provide investors with a 10%  profit on components that will be purchased by the program and resold to  entrepreneurs who will need to secure loans to cover these and other  start-up costs. After the program period of five years, established
 businesses will be encouraged to spin-off and mentor new centers that will  in turn attract job seekers, private investment, competition, and  innovation thereby eliminating the need for the program to channel
 components and training to individual entrepreneurs.
 Technical details: (Subject to change as R&D is ongoing)
 450watt motor high-speed high torque (5500rpm, DC powered)  (2-12volts /8.5Ah18Ah/33Ah Batteries)
 cycle – details and configurations unique to Indian market TBD, Wires
 70x130cm solar panel (stationary, not mounted to cycle)
 Why Two Batteries :One battery to charge at home and second mounted on  cycles.

 Summary of Advantages:
 80km range with peddling.
 40km range without peddling.
 Time is saved as compared to cycle, which can be used elsewhere to
 generate more income
 Inverters can be driven by solar cells to provide household or community
 AC power
 Employment generation
 Ecologically friendly
 Zero Emission
 Freedom of mobility – can travel safely at anytime to any destination
 Reduced gasoline consumption
 Reduced particulate and greenhouse emissions
 No need of Petrol pumps in villages. Even postmen can use these for mail  delivery in villages.
 No recurring fuel expenses (Sun power is free for all, Pay for itself in  fuel saving within three years)
 Introduction of solar power, as an alternative to grid power in rural and  urban areas.
 Reduced growth in roadway and reduce burden on it.
 No electricity needed for charging the batteries
 Allow an indigenous USA/ Indian solution to meet a need that would be  otherwise met by an imported foreign product. As all product mentioned  above are made in USA/India.
 Non-profit organizations worker can use these instead of motor operated  Vehicles run by Petrol,  to save money and environment.
 Physically challenged persons can use solar powered vehicle to increase  independence.

Financial summary:

 Program Financial Requirements (First 5 years for Indian market)
 16,500per cycle x 200 cycles----Rs. 3,300,000(this does not include cycle  cost)
 Overhead for NGO-----------------Rs. 250,000
 Total 1st year outlay---------------Rs. 4,000.000
 Grand total for five years is Rs 20,000,000 (Twenty Millions Rupees).
 Outlay could be reduced by approximately 25% considering that the GOI may  provide a subsidy of 10,000 Rs./cycle.
Solar cycle component cost breakdown:
 Component Cost in Rs.(available in India) Cost in $(available in  USA)
 Base cycle 1900 100
 Solar Panel 12,000 (40 watts ) 256 (64 watts)
 Motor D.C. 2,800 49
 Wires, hardware, etc 300 15
 2 battery packs 1,400(battery life is three years) 130(Battery life  is ten years-2 #)
 Negotiations are in progress for prices of all components Battery need  Maintenance Maintenance free
 Total cost (w/o cycle’s) 16,500 450
 Total part cost for parts only is 16,500 Rs /per cycle excluding cycle’s  cost. (450$ in US dollars)
 At a relatively affordable rental rate of $25/month, a prosperous  villager (income  $200/month) could have exclusive use of a solar cycle  and the owner would enjoy a payback period of less than 18 months on an  asset that should generate income for approximately 60 months. Other  schemes such as cycle sharing and solar cycle rickshaws are possible and  could provide faster payback for the entrepreneur or more affordable rates  for less prosperous villagers (average income $45/month).
 Reliability is a key factor in the success of the program, so ample budget  for quality components and maintenance has been allocated and these will  be central themes in training entrepreneurs.

 Growth and exit strategy:
 After the first year, it is expected that the entrepreneurs will be  generating quite a bit of profit while being able to repay their loans.
 They will be encouraged to start mentoring new entrepreneurs after another  two years of stable operation. Established owners can provide start-up  capital to new ventures as an investment in exchange for a portion of the
 profits from the new ventures. In this way, the program is expected to be  self-generating within the next five years and eventually will cover a  large portion of rural India.
 Indirect saving
 In term of environment and Fossil fuel is enormous and we need not have a  Petrol pump in every village but we can certainly have a solar cycles in  each and every home of all 650,000 villages of India.
 We are expecting a subsidy from the Government of India of up to 1 Million  Rupees one time grant for one hundred proto-types. The balance can be  raised against a loan guarantee from the GOI and a loan from World Bank.
 These will be supported by Local Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’S)   working in local area and will be paid up to 5% overhead cost of entire  project in time bound manner.
 For more information, please contact:
 Umesh Rashmi Rohatgi
 24161 Nilan Drive NOVI MI 48375-3754 USA
 Phone :248-471-5786
 e-mail: “”

Komentarz forumowicza z Indii

1) in india , non-technology factors matter much more , for the poor.

In delhi & most other places, poor rickshaw drivers simply CANNOT get a bank-loan of Rupees 8000/- (200US$) , even if they are residing there for years.
instead, a mafia exists; with each moneybag buying 50/100/200/500+ rickshaws.
these are HIRED out , to the poor rickshaw drivers, at a per day rent of 30 to 40 Rupees!

A rickshaw is a very ecological solution, giving employment, zero pollution,zero-petrol....
In Oxford town, all vehicles are banned & rickshaws give local transport.
Yet, in Delhi, there are moves afoot to BAN rickshaws----a Boon to middleclass
customers; using the 2010CommonwealthGames, as an excuse(Aesthetics!)

A middleclass person, can take 1 Rupee & get a Bank Loan of 2 to 300,000Rupees!
Banks have huge surplus funds, but are too lazy to lend to rickshaw drivers;on the excuse that they do not have permanent/proper address etcetra.

Per day, on average, a rickshaw driver earns nett of about 100 to 200 Rupees, after paying his rent.It is hard life.
Everyday , the rickshaw carries a few hundred-thousands of people, all over the city.

Car owners feel contempt for rickshaws, complaining that they clog up the inadequate roads & that they drive rashly.

2) In Visakhapatnam, my hometown, on the eastcoast of India between Madras & Calcutta; in the early 1960s Raleigh Cycle Company innovated to design a small DieselEngine , for rickshaws.But it failed as ,it was too costly & it could not provide adequate power to overcome huge ups&downs of the roads.It was abandoned& forgotten.

3) some ITI& a Design school innovated a series of GEARS ,so the driver can
change gears, for ease & speed.It needed a simple fitting & cost just Ruppess 1000/-
But again, there was NO delivery mechanism ,in place.It lies abandoned & forgotten.

the rickshaw used in India is a 18th century design.recently IITdelhi, &some individuals
developed better designs;which are now produced.

many other innovations like-----water -riding cycle, bamboo cycle etcetra have fallen into
history, unutilised

90% of innovations die, after birth; unutilised & unapplied.

4) Battery+Motor driven Rickshaws are certainly an Innovation.

But, at a cost of Rupees 17000/- these will be UNaffordable, for the public.
The daily RENT will zoom to 150 or 200Rupees !

And in India , it will be unviable.
today, lo-cost battery scooters are the rage(from CHINA!)these cost Rupees 15000 to 25000; & give a per kilometer rate of just 40paise(0.40Rupee)Most users now prefer these, after the recent hike in petrol charges.

5) There are just NO Solar-PhotoVoltaic panels available, in India!
Pilot plants set up 20 years ago, by BEL,BHEL,CEL (all govt. cos.)
have never been upgraded.

Assemblers who were importing SolarCells & assembling PV-Panels, prefer to EXPORT them to Germany !To promote self-sufficiency, German govt. now offers those citizens feeding the local GRID with home generated electricity, FOUR times the rate they pay the grid for the power!A great way to promote Solar Power.

Now, some dozen major projects are under way, with investments 5000 to 10000 Million
Rupees each.It will be some 5 years before Solar-PV-Panels are freely available, at reasonable prices.

Government of India has been too LAZY ,to even a national POLICY for Solar PhotoVoltaics.They do not even promote IMPORTS, from global sources.
Govt. R&D Labs , have "spent" a few hundreds of Millions of Rupees, over the years, to "develop" Solar Cells........,all to zero avail.

India has failed to learn, even looking at Japan & China, in the matter of Solar-PV

6) In contrast, government of India , has a Ministry Of Non-Conventional Energy(MNES)
which SUBSIDISES , from the tax-payers money; huge amounts of Rupees 5000MillionRupees, annually!This subsidy is applicable to-----Solar Lanterns, Solar Home Inverters,Solar Street Lights,Solar AgriculturalPumpsets 7 etcetra.

The products arte bought from select producers;distributed via select local NGOs.

Only, the Poor are not the beneficiaries. The rich grab these, even if they have electricity
at home.In many cases, accounts are fiddled & the money eaten up by local staff.Corruption is rampant & perennial.

Most solar-PV panels are STOLEN away, from all installations;eg. traffic island police
posts, telecom centres in remote places, street solar lights. etcetra.any Solar-PV panel in front of a poor hut/slum home will be cut & taken away in a jiffy.

7) the poor have to be Psychologically & Socially & Financially Empowered.
It has NOT happened in India, due to Corruption & Apathy & Social-Divide.

even today, the poor are scared to go to a bank for a loan of even a 1000rupees.they prefer to go to the local money lender, who charges them 2 to 3 % ,per month!
they hypothecate, their meagre gold, & silver & generally forfeit them.

8) Barring a miniscule; most NGOs do not add value.They are enjoying self-employment
and exploit the poor.Some NGOs pay their employees, salaries, & perquisites near to corporate levels.

9) Cooperatives in India have Failed.due to political fraud, manipulation & corruption.
the poor do not even think of forming a cooperative unit; though ,on paper all provisions exist.........

10) Yet, slowly , as the poor get educated directly, or indirectly(via TV, films, newspaper etcetra) they are changing.Women are the harbingers of this change.Slowly, but surely, the lot of the poor is improving.Where the children get educated& finish school & college-------then miracles are possible.

surya delhi/india 24-8-2k8


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Copyright serwisu 2008 Leszek Korolkiewicz. Prawa do artykułów przysługują ich autorom/właścicielom.