Sushil Reddy (26), an alumnus of IIT Bombay, will embark on a cycle journey of 7,000 kms from IIT Bombay on his electric cycle, powered by solar energy, to spread awareness on the energy crisis facing the nation and the answers solar power could give.
The 70-day ride will cover Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and the national capital Delhi.
Rajendra Bhaskar, a student from IIT Bombay will accompany Sushil on his normal cycle. The electric cycle is fitted with a motor that assists pedalling. To power the motor, energy will be generated from solar panels of 240 watts. The cycle can be used as a normal cycle as well.
The route of the journey is IIT Bombay, Valsad, Surat, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Diu, Somnath, Porbandar, Dwarka, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Mt. Abu, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Bhatinda, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Roorkee, Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Deogarh, Udaipur, Gandhinagar, Bharuch, Surat, Vapi, and back to IIT Bombay.
The title sponsor inaugurated the bike at IIT Bombay on May 6. Representatives of title sponsor, Inter Solar, silver sponsor, BSNL, Zoom Car, Team Shunya, and students of the institute were present.
The bike has been manufactured by Hulikkal. Other team members of the project include Rajendra Bhaskar, Himanshu Singh and Krunal Tailor. The average speed of the cycle is 20-25 kms per hour and Sushil is planning to cover almost 100 kms daily. Sushil will ride the solar powered cycle from 5-11 am and the ride will include a presentation and demonstration of the bike at all places it will stop on its 7000 kilometer journey.
Sushil worked with Professor Chetan Solanki in his solar energy start up Kwattsolutions. In his final year he developed this bicycle and travelled 500 kms from Mumbai to Goa in December 2015.
Upon the selection of states Sushil said, “During May and June it will be warm in Northern India and I wanted to select flat roads for my journey.”
Zoom car has sponsored a car which will follow Sushil throughout his journey. The car will have a special crew and GPS. The marketing manager of Zoom car (west), Manan Modi said, “Sushil is doing the reverse of what we do and this makes it interesting to capture his journey. He is encouraging people to use solar energy and I would like to replace all my diesel cars with electric and solar cars.”
The aim of this 70-day ride is to spread awareness mainly among students and politicians. “There is a need for awareness and skills in solar energy sector,” said Sushil.
The route of the bike ride has been planned by Prasad Nanasaheb Erande.
Abhil Manepalli (20), the head of Project Shunya and a student of energy and engineering at IIT Bombay said that with this journey Sushil is also promoting the use of cycle and the entire project is sustainable.
The event will be used by Sushil to raise funds to help NGO Hockey Village India, which integrates sports and education to teach kids in rural areas of Rajasthan. Sushil will soon start a crowd funding campaign to help Jatwara village in Rajasthan.