Startup builds electric rickshaws to reduce pollution

Surya Conversions builds hybrid electric conversion kits for vehicles in developing countries in order to reduce pollution in these countries and help drivers save money on gasoline.

The startup says that drivers will get to put money back into their pockets to better support themselves and their families, and pollution will be decreased. Additionally, with a kit, drivers will not have to entirely replace the vehicles they currently drive, and can instead simply attach the kit to their existing vehicles to see instant fuel savings.

The team said the kits will save the drivers approximately 33% of their gas costs and cut emissions by 33%. Kits will initially be priced at $600, but the team has three methods of payment that will make them affordable for rickshaw drivers.

Some kits can be sponsored by individuals, sold to companies that can rent them to rickshaw drivers, or be bought by drivers under a payment plan.

Surya Conversion plans to test drive their hybrids in India, operating 500-1000 units. After their “case study year”, the team will scale up production to expand to other countries and vehicles.

The startup is composed of a group of ten engineering and business students in the University of Colorado Boulder. They launched the project in a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2014. This year, Surya Conversions is one of the eight finalists in the Ocean Exchange pitch competition to be held on October 11, 2015.

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