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A group of students have built a solar-powered car that could in time aid in reducing the air pollution load in Agra that is harming the iconic Taj Mahal

The noxious haze over Agra is harming the Taj Mahal (Photo by Jörg Peter)

To save the Taj Mahal, the 17th century monument of love, a group of engineering students on June 8 launched an “assembled from scrap” solar car that is disabled-friendly, can seat four persons comfortably and do a 25 km round on a single charge.

“Air pollution is a big problem in Agra and most of it comes from vehicles. The challenge before us was to design a vehicle that would be light, efficient and affordable,” said team leader Akash Gupta.

The solar cars will be donated to hospitals and used in college premises. Eventually, they are aiming for commercial sale.

Sanjay Garg, Chairman of ACE college of Engineering and Management, told IANS: “The self-designed solar car, named Nexgen, is unique and the first such successful venture that is set to prove a game changer, once commercial production is taken up.

“The production costs should not exceed Rs 50,000 as we have tried to use a lot of scrap, used material, including sanitary pipes. It’s simple and functional, and suited to rural conditions. We have provided batteries for night use. The solar panels keep charging during the day.”

Garg said the solar car has taken into consideration the specific requirements of users. People with disabilities can also use it. Sanyam Agarwal, the project director, said solar cars have been made in many countries, but for single person use. “But our vehicle is capable of carrying four persons and attain a speed of 30 kmph. It has a 900 watt motor and four batteries.”

Students who worked on the model were excited, as their solar car once popular would bring down not only costs but also pollution levels in Agra. They said solar cars were not too popular in Europe and the US as sunlight was a problem there but India, being in the tropical zone, could make good use of sunlight.

This report was released by the Indo Asian News Service.


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