September 19, 2016 - 12:41pm
When Naveen Rabelli reached London today, he concluded a 14,200-km-long journey on his solar autorickshaw that began in Bengaluru, India seven months ago. To make this trip, Rabelli traversed 11 countries, 20 cities and 100 towns in Asia and Europe.
The 35-year-old began his adventure in February in a customised red three-wheeler christened Tejas, the Sanskrit word for radiance. His aim was to promote the use of renewable energy solutions for passenger vehicles in Asian and European countries. "The first thing I wanted to address was [the notion] that a solar-powered vehicle cannot run as efficiently as a fuel vehicle," Rabelli recalled.
Funnily enough, it was a traffic jam in Bengaluru that gave Rabelli the idea to convert a diesel autorickshaw or tuk-tuk to a zero emission vehicle that ran on renewable energy. He combined the project with his childhood dream of taking an overland drive from India to the UK. "I was driving in the traffic in Bengaluru, when I noticed a sea of polluting and noisy tuk-tuks," Rabelli said. "I decided that I didn't want to pollute the environment for my dream. So I decided to make a zero-emission tuk-tuk and drive all the way."