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Dec 27, 2016 07:48 AM EST

Kenyan University Students Create Solar Motorbikes

Electric motorbikes are environment-friendly and does not require fuel
Electric motorbikes, like the Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire (pictured), are of great help to people who rely on bikes for transportation.
(Photo : Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Harley Davidson)

Students from a university in Kenya have developed their own solar-powered motorbikes, a news report says.

Three students from the University of Nairobi, namely Robert Achoge, James Ogola, and Charles Ogingo, all of them in their final years in the university, have created solar-powered motorbikes, Naij.com reported. They did this by converting standard motorbikes into battery-powered ones, with batteries that are charged using solar energy.

Dubbed "Ecotran" by the three students, the bikes acquire solar energy and then store it in a battery, which allows for a long running distance of 70 kilometers on one charge. When empty, the battery needs to be taken back to a charging station the students have set up. And while the empty battery is charging up, it can be replaced with a fully-charged battery so that the user can just hop on and go.

The three students started working on the project using three locally-bought motorbikes, tinkering with these and they saw needed. They have successfully made 35 solar-powered bikes to date, and have garnered quite an amount of attention.

In fact, the three students' project received an amount from the United States African Development Fund. The amount they received is being used to further the project, and fund its development. The solar-powered bikes that are ready for use are being given to trained riders.

The Ecotran bikes are way more economical and are environment-friendly. Riders do not need to spend money for fuel, and because the bikes do not need to burn fuel to run, they also do not emit any smoke - avoiding the production of harmful carbon monoxide.

The only drawback to these solar-powered bikes, the report says, is that they have slower and weaker acceleration. This means it might make it difficult for riders to ride the bike uphill, but nevertheless, the bikes will be very useful in a country where most riders use leased bikes.

College students really are innovative, wherever they may be. Whether it's in the field of technology, marketing, and even housing ideas, they truly do great things.

© 2016 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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