Novel solar-powered bicycle to combat air pollution.

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In an effort to reduce air pollution due to vehicular emissions in the country, scientists have designed a new solar-assisted bicycle that may prove to be a low-cost, eco-friendly alternative to two wheeler motor vehicles, and may hit the market by next year.

The bicycles, which can switch between the solar energy powered motor and the pedals, may cost around 12,000 to 15,000 rupees, researchers said. India was the sixth largest motor vehicle manufacturer in 2014-15, producing a record 23.4 million vehicles in the period, they said.

 Two wheeler production reached 18.5 million units in the same year. The growth of vehicles has doubled in last two decades, and they have become the major source of pollution in urban India.

he major air pollutants emitted from vehicles are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Increasing air pollution is not only affecting the environment, it also has adverse health effects like lung cancer, cardiovascular mortality, leading to 10 per cent deaths in the country per annum according to estimates.

“To overcome this problem, an effort is being made for developing an eco-friendly vehicle to reduce pollution in India,” said S A Puviyarasu, from Dr N G P Institute of Technology, Anna University in Tamil Nadu.

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