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Electric Pedicabs - future for London's transport

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Posted 07-12-2009 at 05:45 PM by yendrek3

London belongs to one of the largest cities in the world. It's transport also belongs to the one of the most developed. London's undergrounds is one of the most developed in the world but also one of the oldest in the world counting over a 100 years. There is also an excellent network of overground trains and if we think of it all of these are powered by massive electric drives. Overall the benefits that come from electric drives are huge, there is simply no pollution in the direct way, it's quiet and efficient.

The reason of this blog is however to concentrate on the electric pedicabs. For those who aren't familiar with the term pedicab = cycle rickshaw. These were on the streets of London for the past 10 years however they were running only on the pedal power. The problem with it is that these are too slow and are messing around. While the industry is unregulated some of the lads started using electric motors (hub motors) similar to those produced by golden motor and run these pedicabs on the lead acid or gel batteries.

It was all fine for about two years until police found out that these are not legal on the public road. In the UK there is a law that says that the maximum weight of the electric tricycle can not exceed more than 60kg inc the batteries, the fact is that the law is from the 1983 and is slightly out of date. The big problem was that these rickshaws weighted around 140kg with the batteries and could not be classified as a cycles but motor vehicles. If these would be classified as a motor vehicles then there would be a requirement of actually having the MOT and car tax disc displayed. So the closed circuit became a problem for riders and operators alike.

The illegal pedicabs were running for period of around two years in the London's west end until this day arrived.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7766458.stm

Police impounded around 20 pedicabs with electric assist. The truth is that these pedicabs didn't do any harm to the environment. Even completely opposite, the traffic was moving faster. Right now the pedicabs in central london are again running on the pedal power only cause loads of traffic.

The big question arises now is it possible to create the electric pedicab that will actually fall in to the category of less than 60kg. The electric pedicabs would actually make the urban transport better and cleaner. The BLACK CABS in London and ther eis 150,000 of them pollute London in the massive way. All of them runs on diesel engines making even more pollution than the ordinary petrol engines.

There is currently only one company which is based in London that works on the development of first legal electric rickshaw. Maxpro Pedicabs has already developed the first legal electric pedicab rickshaw Maxpro Street Flyer that weights just about 60kg with the batteries. The vehicle is still not in the mass production but it's likely to be available in the end of the year based on what the manufacturer says. Wish them all the best with getting on the project.

This blog is not about promoting the pedicabs or pedicab industry but about making people's awareness of light weight electric vehicles and their contribution these could make to reduce CO2 emissions. These light weight rickshaws powered by electric motors could significantly eliminate the pollutions and CO2 emissions in many inner cities not only London but world wide. The current big halos about global warming and CO2 emission reductions by the most developed countries should be taken seriously not just in pure words. The truth is that by doing small things we can actually do a lot more and it's all up to all of us how to make our carbon foot print smaller.

__________________________________________________ ___

External resources:
BBC NEWS - http://news.bbc.co.uk
Maxpro Pedicabs - http://www.pedicabshop.com
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