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Amsterdam rickshaw driver sees the light

Monday, October 17, 2011 - 01:32

Oct. 17 - The rickshaw has been a fixture of public transportation across Asia for decades and, more recently, in some European cities as well. Traditionally, they've relied on good old pedal-power for locomotion, but one enterprising operator in Amsterdam says his version of the rickshaw provides a vision of the future. Ben Gruber reports.

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Thomas Lundy is a rickshaw driver. After spending the summer months pedalling tourists through streets of Amsterdam, he came up with a way to give his tired legs some much needed rest. Lundy built what he calls semi-solar powered rickshaw. He mounted three flexible solar panels to generate energy which helps power his rickshaw through the streets. (SOUNDBITE)(English), INNOVATOR, THOMAS LUNDY, SAYING: "During daylight, the sun is shining regardless of whether its cloudy or not, or raining, there is daylight and daylight basically is sunlight and that's been captured on the solar cells, which is converting it through a solar charger or solar inverter and feeding it back into the battery." Unfortunately for Lundy, summer is over and the tourists are leaving. He says he will use the dark winter months to further research solar technology, which he says is always improving. (SOUNDBITE)(English), INNOVATOR, THOMAS LUNDY, SAYING: "The costs and the amount of energy generated through such a solar application now is not that much, but of course it will get bigger as technology develops." Lundy says that come springtime, when tourists begin flocking back to Amsterdam, his solar powered rickshaw will be new and improved - converting even more sunlight into power so his legs don't have to. Ben Gruber

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Amsterdam rickshaw driver sees the light

Monday, October 17, 2011 - 01:32