Urban Transport

Student builds photovoltaic electric trike for under $600

Student builds photovoltaic el...
Pakistan's Farrukh Khan has designed and built an electric trike - where the onboard battery is charged by a PV canopy - for under $600, and has posted detailed build instructions online
Pakistan's Farrukh Khan has designed and built an electric trike - where the onboard battery is charged by a PV canopy - for under $600, and has posted detailed build instructions online
View 11 Images
The shop-bought charge controller circuit stops the battery charging from the solar panels when it's full
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The shop-bought charge controller circuit stops the battery charging from the solar panels when it's full
The back part of a bicycle frame has been attached to the rear of Solaron's aluminum frame
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The back part of a bicycle frame has been attached to the rear of Solaron's aluminum frame
The Solaron's motor assembly
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The Solaron's motor assembly
Pakistan's Farrukh Khan has designed and built an electric trike - where the onboard battery is charged by a PV canopy - for under $600, and has posted detailed build instructions online
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Pakistan's Farrukh Khan has designed and built an electric trike - where the onboard battery is charged by a PV canopy - for under $600, and has posted detailed build instructions online
3D computer model of Solaron - from which the final project was created
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3D computer model of Solaron - from which the final project was created
Farrukh Khan with his Solaron electric trike
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Farrukh Khan with his Solaron electric trike
The Solaron's chassis has a reverse three-wheel configuration - with two wheels at the front and one at the rear
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The Solaron's chassis has a reverse three-wheel configuration - with two wheels at the front and one at the rear
The Solaron electric trike features a photovoltaic canopy which charges the onboard battery
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The Solaron electric trike features a photovoltaic canopy which charges the onboard battery
Farrukh Khan and Solaron outside the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore in Pakistan
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Farrukh Khan and Solaron outside the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore in Pakistan
Farrukh Khan and Solaron outside the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore in Pakistan
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Farrukh Khan and Solaron outside the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore in Pakistan
Farrukh Khan with his Solaron electric trike
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Farrukh Khan with his Solaron electric trike
View gallery - 11 images

If the US$6,000 price tag of the BugE trike is still beyond your price range, then you may be interested in the sub-US$600 Solaron three-wheeler designed by Pakistan's Farrukh Khan. The DIY project is not (yet) available commercially, but the young inventor has posted detailed build instructions online for those who want to knock up their own variants.

Designed and built in just 18 days at the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore in Pakistan, Khan's 7 x 3.5 x 4.5 ft (2.13 x 1.06 x 1.37 meter), 132 pound (60 kg) Solaron low-rider features a custom built, t-shaped aluminum framework at the front of the vehicle, and the back part of an old bicycle frame at the rear, joined just behind the seating area to shock absorbers. The reverse three-wheeler - with two wheels at the front and one at the rear - also has a 40 watt photovoltaic canopy above the rider that charges the onboard 12v/80Ah dry cell solar battery.

The Solaron's motor assembly
The Solaron's motor assembly

The battery powers a 24v electric motor which in turn drives the rear wheel via chain and sprockets. Khan reports that the Solaron can achieve a top speed of around 20 mph (30 kph) and run for a little over 43 miles (70 km) between charges. A shop-bought charge controller circuit ensures the charge from the panels is stopped when the battery is juiced up.

The entire build cost was just PKR 46,670 (US$540) and Khan has posted detailed build instructions online for those who want to try and create their own variation. He's also hinted at the vehicle being made commercially available - we'll keep you posted on future developments.

Khan can be seen driving his creation around the University in the following video:

Solar powered vehicle

View gallery - 11 images
12 comments
12 comments
Monster
You Have Done Great Job My Brother....! Allah always with us...keep it up make it and create new things ....love you farrukh khan
Joe Blake
Love it!!! More power to your arm, friend. A revolution in urban transport, reduction in traffic congestion and pollution reduction.
Hope to see it being commercially produced. Say in quantities of millions. Hope it outsells those microcars. ;-)
WhyEyeWine
More evidence that big business is sitting on their hands!
Neil Larkins
Plenty of room for improvement, but all in all a good first try. Keep at it. Just a few tweeks and it will be a must-have for a lot of people. Anybody out there watching...how about you playing World of Warcraft all day?
daneuhauser
Look what you did!! Well done young man. I thank you for all of us for sharing the fruits of your wonderful mind and generous spirit.
Amanullah Rana
Congrats son, Nation is really proud on You! Although there is a lot room for improvement; like height of panel, length of vehicle, wheel configuration, seating arrangement. But for startup it is I believe more than an eye opener.
Bravo Zulu, Keep it up.
Slowburn
All that really needs is a much larger solar collector, and a law making golf carts legal on side streets.
Derek Howard
With economies of scale this could be retailed for under that price with added peddals (just in case) and windscreen to keep weather off and improved airflow,this could out do any electric bike, keep up on it.
Walt Stawicki
That looks like one lot of motor! that is a complement. proper vehicle and skin I think you could get 40-60 mph with it! Notice how easily it works with RECYCLED parts!
did anybody find a bluprint on the builder\'s linked page? I am interested in front ends of tadpoles...
walt low kinetic human hybrid llc
David Dodson
Fantastic!
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