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‘Sunny’ ride for postal workers

New Delhi, July 9: India’s postal workers may soon get to deliver mail riding a solar-enabled electric bike that will end their drudgery of riding conventional bicycles and help the postal department earn a green tag.

Minister of state for communications and information technology Sachin Pilot today unveiled an electric bike for postal workers which, its manufacturers say, could also serve as a delivery vehicle for other sectors — from pizza to groceries to medicines.

The bike called the postal soleckshaw developed by Kinetic Motor Company in Pune uses a technology concept from the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur.

A postal worker could carry 50kg of mail on the bike that can run 50km after six hours of recharge. The bike may be recharged through a standard mains outlet or through electricity from solar panels.

Pilot said the bike would be tried out in a city in Rajasthan and evaluated before a possible expansion to other states.

A postman would be able to carry more mail on the bike than possible on a conventional bicycle.

He declined to say how many bikes would be deployed in this trial phase.

Kinetic’s managing director Sulajja Firodia Motwani said the company would also pitch the bike which is likely to cost about Rs 25,000 to other delivery sectors. “The commercial delivery market has a need for this type of bike,” she said.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has also promoted CMERI’s soleckshaw concept as a solar-powered replacement for traditional human-driven rickshaws, transferring the technology to small-scale industries.

“We expect to see a couple of hundred soleckshaws in Delhi by the time of the Commonwealth Games,” said Samir Brahmachari, director-general of the CSIR which has agreed to license 1,000 soleckshaws for a royalty of Rs 100,000.

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