With conventional fossil fuel consuming rides posing a threat to the existence of life on Earth, it is high time to develop alternate and greener modes of transportation for a sustainable future. The Effi-cycle was designed to be an electrically assisted, dual-human powered tricycle with a capability to regenerate the energy lost during braking. Different topologies were analysed and based on the factors such as turning radius, stability, handling and ease of manoeuvring, tadpole design was adopted with 2 wheels at the front and one at the back. Similar to that of modern passenger cars, the front wheel steered trike abides to Ackermann criterion and integrates double wishbone suspension exhibiting superior high speed cornering and off-road capabilities. The hybrid cycle, which also provides an option for electric drive with “Kinetic Brake Energy Regeneration System,” was also incorporated for better performance and easiness. The KERS is one significant step that highlights the motive to add a greener value to the existing hybrid concept. Safety that has been incorporated into the design has no compromise. With a strong chassis designed to withstand impacts and seat belts to hold the person to the vehicle during any mishap, with a covering to protect the rider from debris and wind current.
The following were the design constraints while developing the Effi-cycle:
The vehicle must be of dimensions 90 X 50 inch (L X B).
1. The vehicle must be capable of seating two 95 percentile men.
2. The maximum seating height (H point located by joining the torso line with the line
depicting the thigh) is limited to 36 inches.
3. Maximum permissible rating of the battery is 48V, 35 AH.
4. PMDC/BLDC Motor of maximum 400W rating is permitted. No other type is
permitted for use in the event. Hub motors are strictly prohibited.
5. All vehicles must have functional, positive locking brakes on all wheels. The
brakes must be mounted to the wheel and not on the drive axle.
6. There should be a clearance of minimum 3 inches between driver and any
component of the vehicle, in static and dynamic conditions.
The efficycle is designed for the benefit of the humanity. The robust design of the regenerative braking incorporated could be modified and improved to harness kinetic energy at higher efficiencies and can be integrated into most of the cycle rickshaws that we have today. Such light weight tricycles can be modified and can be used for transporting goods and can even be used for disaster management. India, being a land of multilingual and multicultural festivals, such trikes becomes a useful element for carrying out cleaning and sanitation activities in public places during such festivals.