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Information About Auto Rickshaw Engineering Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Engineering
Wordcount: 4610 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In many Asian countries rickshaw were used as a human powered mode of transport. The cycle rickshaw in which a cart is attached to a bicycle is operated by a driver. These kind of rickshaw’s can still be found in cities like Kolkata. A European missionary been to Japan invented the rickshaw in Japan at the end of nineteenth century, the name rickshaw was derive from the Japanese expression “Ji – Riki – Shaw” which literally means “vehicle propelled by man”

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Around 1880 the first rickshaw appeared in India on the avenues of Simla. Some 20 years later some Chinese traders who used the rickshaw to transport goods imported few of these rickshaws to Kolkata. The same Chinese people in 1914 applied for permission to use the rickshaw to carry people and in no time all over in many south East Asian metropolis rickshaws were found.

Rickshaw offered a means of earning a living for peasants migrating to the big cities. No one knows exactly how many rickshaws are on the streets of Kolkata, over a million people look to the rickshaw for their daily bowl of rice. Economists have calculated that the economic value of rickshaws and their pulling is $6 million a quarter of the budget of the whole urban transport system of a city like Paris. In 1940’s Vespasan auto rickshaw or the rickshaw made out of an iron body resting on three small wheels, two on the rear and one in the front, a seating for three at the rear and a small cabin in the front for the driver, were seen. These rickshaws were fitted with a 2-stroke engine and a handle for steering like a scooter instead of a steering wheel.

As the man pulled rickshaw started to work on motor it was known as auto rickshaw instead of rickshaw. The auto rickshaw had become so popular as a vehicle for hire that it became one of the chief modes of transport in India, Srilanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand and many parts of Asia and Africa. But the former version of the rickshaw is still not extinct. Considering their capacity the auto rickshaw are extremely light weight , it requires only two or three person to fully lift it of the ground and it can be pushed by one person when it breaks down.

The auto rickshaw has many types of models in many different countries. The older version of auto rickshaw in India had a engine designed by lambretta which consumed too much of petrol hence they were phased out and engines designed by vespa took over, the most common auto rickshaw’s found today in India are the Bajaj auto rickshaw’s. At the beginning the engine was under the seat of the driver which made the auto rickshaw very uncomfortable for the passengers as it was very noisy and it vibrated a lot. Later on the engines were modified and placed at the rear of the auto rickshaw making it less noisy, hence making the ride much more comfortable for the passengers.

These auto rickshaw’s are mainly seen as a passenger taxi vehicle in many different cities of India having a different colour for different cities, example. In Mumbai the colours of the auto rickshaw is black for the body and yellow near the windscreen and in cities like Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad its yellow for the whole vehicle.

It also had a larger version which is a seven seater, which had a diesel engine but compared to the smaller three seater petrol engine auto rickshaw’s these larger version seven seater auto rickshaw’s were much more noisier and they vibrated a lot, in spite of this , these seven seater were a complete success in several towns and rural areas of India as it carried more passengers and the cost of running was low compared to the petrol engine. These auto rickshaws were also modified from a passenger taxi vehicle to a goods carrier vehicle to transport small amounts of goods within the city or to small distances. These goods carrier auto rickshaw’s came in both petrol and diesel engines and it also came in different models with different engine power.

The passenger 2-stroke petrol engine was changed to a 4-stroke engine which was a very successful model, and later on it was changed to a CNG (compressed natural gas) engine.


There were three types of engine model in the auto rickshaw, the belt drive (BD), rear axle (RA) and the rear engine (RE)

The belt drive: in the belt drive model two belts ran down the side of the auto rickshaw which made the rear wheel move, in this model the wheels were not connected by an axle, in which if one of the belt snapped out that wheel was no longer driven.

The rear axle: in the rear axle model the auto rickshaw has a “rear axle driven by a perpendicular cam-shaft extending from underneath the driver’s seat” which was very noisy and vibrated a lot.

The rear engine: in the rear engine model the engine is located at the rear of the auto rickshaw “over the rare axle, assessable from a rear hatch, these models are much quieter and less bumpy.

All of these three models were 2-stroke engines and lacked in the fuel department. The fuel tank was not sealed with a gas pump nozzle as the thank was unpressurized, hence ” the gas would flow faster when the tank is full than when it was half full” later on a small value was located on the gas tube to adjust the gas flow. The driver also had to mix oil with the fuel as the engine was a 2-stroke engine. There was no energy storage system in the belt drive and rear axle model auto rickshaw, hence the headlight, brake lights and the signals lights had to run through a generator directly off the engine, in which the bulbs fused very often. But the rear engine model had a 12V electronics system including a battery allowing steady lights.

All the models of the auto rickshaw did not have an electric starter hence the driver had to kick start the vehicle. The kick was located on the left side of the driver as a hand lever.


Out of the three models the ‘RE’ model was the most successful one as its engine was at the rear of the auto rickshaw making the auto rickshaw much quieter and less bumpy than the other two models, and it also had a battery allowing steady lights.

Later on the 2-stroke engine was modified and replaced with 4-stroke petrol engine fitted with a electric starter. This 4-stroke engine model was very successful as compared to the 2-stroke engine.

By this time the auto rickshaw also had diesel engine which made the cost of running very low and it was used as both passenger as well as a good carrier vehicle. There were many models of the petrol as well as the diesel engines with different engine capacity as shown.

Bajaj 4-stroke:

Bajaj Autorickshaw 4 stroke



4 stroke

Cooling Type

Forced Air Cooled



No. of Cylinders


Compression Ratio




Max Power RPM


Max Torque


Max Torque RPM


Ignition Type



Keihin M10 A

Transmission Type

4 forward and one reverse

Clutch Type

Wet multidisc type

Electrical System

12V DC

Head Light

35/35 W


12V DC

Chassis Type

Pressed steel sheets and sections

Front Suspension

Helical coil spring and hydraulic double acting shock absorber

Rear Suspension

Helical coil spring and hydraulic double acting shock absorber

Front Tyre Size

(4.00 – 8).4PR

Rear Tyre Size

(4.00 – 8).4PR



Fuel Tank Capacity

8 litres

Reserve Capacity

1 litres

Wheel Base


Ground Clearance


Saddle Height


Minimum Turning Radius


Curb Weight


Maximum Payload


Fuel Efficiency (Ideal)


Fuel Efficiency (Highway)

32 to 35kmpl

Fuel Efficiency (City)

28 to 32kmpl

Max Speed


* (The above model is available in Petrol, Diesel, CNG and LPG version.)

Bajaj GC 1000 :

Bajaj Goods Carrier



Four Stroke, Single Cylinder, IDI, Compression Ignition  

Cooling Type

Forced Air Cooled


416 cc

Max Power

8.5 bhp( 5.9 kW) @ 3600 rpm

Max Torque

20 Nm @ 2400 rpm

Ignition Type

Electric start

Transmission Type

4 forward & 1 reverse gear

Clutch Type

Single plate, dry friction type, foot operated

Maximum Payload

775 Kgs.

Electrical System


System 12V DC


Chassis Type

Semi Monologue


Front Suspension

Antidive leading link with helical compression spring & shock absorber

Rear Suspension

Independent suspension with spring & shock absorber


Front Tyre Size


Rear Tyre Size



Front Brakes

Hydraulic brakes with auto adjuster

Rear Brakes

Hydraulic brakes with auto adjuster

Fuel Tank

Fuel Tank Capacity

8 litres


Overall length

2960 mm

Overall width

1375 mm

Overall height

1810 mm

Wheel Base

2025 mm

Ground Clearance

170 mm

Minimum Turning Radius

2.75 m


990 kg

Loading Tray

Length (Pick up)

1500 mm

Width (Pick up)

1325 mm

Height (Pick up)

250 mm

Length (HiDec)

1500 mm

Width (HiDec)

1325 mm

Height (HiDec)

1050 mm

*Because of our ongoing efforts to make Bajaj vehicles even better, specifications are subject to change without prior notice

* (The above model is available in Petrol, Diesel, CNG and LPG version.)

Later on the petrol and diesel engines were replaced by CNG (compressed natural gas) engines having all the same features. And till today all the auto rickshaws in India run on CNG engine.



As we are aware that an auto rickshaw or a three-wheeler (tuk-tuk) is a small three-wheeled operated by a single individual. They are cheap and common means of public transport in urban India and other parts of Asian countries as well as in some parts of Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, Peru and Gautamela. Autos run on:

– CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), Petrol & Diesel

Though Autos are cheap and common means of transport it has its own disadvantages too:

1. Traffic issues/ overcrowding – Auto rickshaws have a top-speed of around 50 km/h much slower than the automobiles they share the road with. The triangular form of the vehicle makes maneuvering easy, with the single front wheel negotiating the available gap, and the rear two wheels forcing a larger space. The MMW Tuk Tuk has a top speed of around 70 mph. (Ref: MMW Tuk Tuk). Being a cheap means of transport people prefer them to taxis and other means of transport.

Traffic authorities in big cities try to implement mechanisms to reduce the resulting traffic slowing, but none have proven effective due to overcrowding of Autos.


A typical auto stand in Goa (Wikipedia)

2. Outlook: The modern cities and roads are designed for sleeker looking public vehicles for commuting – these auto rickshaws look outdated and drab and looks inferiors in front of other modern road transport vehicles.

Modern city planners are looking to phase out such vehicles or promoting them to be used only in villages /outskirts of cities

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Picture: Rickshawchalleng.com

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3. Air / Noise Pollution: Though CNG run autos are more eco- friendlier than petrol and diesel autos. However, one fact was completely ignored that is noise pollution due to gas engine. With running of so many autos on concrete road surface, because of rigidity it creates more noise. The Noise level on the road during night is much more than the specified by the “The Noise Pollution Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 – India.

Carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and nitrous oxide is emitted out is in abundance causing health issues. Besides Carbon, huge dust particles remains suspended in the air due to the constant movement of autos which is leading to breathlessness and various other health problems. (Ref: The Cityfix)

“To assess the impact caused by nearly 1, 00,000 auto rickshaws, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) monitored the atmospheric quality, at two areas in the City – Railway Station and S G Halli, on the day of auto strike and the day before the strike”.

Central Bus Stand – Majestic area has the most dense auto traffic, at any time of day, due to the presence of the railway station and KSRTC bus stand. Roughly between 30% to 40% of the City’s auto rickshaws ply here. This area has reported a steep reduction in oxides of Nitrogen, upto 58.8%, on the strike day. Impressive isn’t it?

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A clear reduction in levels of Sulphur di oxide (SO2) and Respiratory Particulate Matter (RSPM) too were reported in both areas. Oxides of Carbon reduced by 33.3% at Majestic. It is known that most of the autos in City, roughly 65,000, are two-stroke ones and with incomplete combustion in them causes pollution. These autos are the ones which are 40% air polluters in Bangalore, according to KSPCB.

(Ref: moneymint.in)

1.3.2 : Aim of the project

The aim of the project is to run the auto rickshaw on a electrical motor with the help of solar energy.

1.4 : objective

To review the current system

To replace the current system

Chapter 2 :
















3.1: journal on solar panels on vehicles

Solar panels have photovoltaic cells (PVC) which are used in solar vehicles, the sun’s energy is converted into electricity we can use by the help of these photovoltaic cell. Solar panels can cost upto 400$ each which is a very expensive technology. The price of the solar panels varies from panel to panel depending on how fast the panel can capture and convert the energy.

” In 2006 the Venturi Eclectic was presented at the paris auto show. This car used solar and wind energy but could onlt travel upto 30 miles per hour”. There are many benefits of a solar vehicle, there is no noise pollution as the panels panels work silently, the energy one gets is free and has zero percent emission. “The Toyota prius has a new solar roof that can power the car for at least 20 miles longer”.


Working of a solar vehicle:

Solar vehicle completely depends on the energy of the sun. Unlike any other solar device the solar panels on a solar vehicle has to harness the energy from the sun. These solar panels consist of hundreds or thousands of solar cell arranged neatly ultra pure mono crystalline silicon “and reach efficiencies up to 20 % ie . this percentage is converted into electricity from the total solar energy falling on the panels”. The electrons are charged by the photons (light particles) when sunlight hits the solar panels, this makes the electron to move one later of the solar cell to another. Thus electrical current is produced due to the energetic movements of the electrons between the layers of the solar cell. “This electric current is transferred to the battery pack when the electric motor is switched off. When the conditions are not sunny the power from the battery is used. The technology of the battery pack is similar to teh cell which powers our i-pods and cell phone made up of lithium ion cells. Using a 220V power outlet the battery pack can be fully charged in 3 hours or a day of using only solar panels.

Compared to the normal vehicles the solar vehicles have a different transmission system. “Power the motor is controlled by two components called Motor controllers and Power trackers”. The job of the motor controller s are to convert the DC power from the batteries or solar panels to AC electricity for the motor. By simply setting the frequency of the AC output one can manipulate the speed of the motor.

The job of the power trackers is to maintain a suitable level by correcting the current when the energy is used to charge the batteries, it boost the voltage. Changes in sunlight, temperature and assorted factor makes the power output in solar panels to vary, in which necessary continuous calibration and adjustment is required, this done by the power tracker.

A solar vehicles body is designed to cover three benefits to maximize energy

It should be lightweight.

It should have good aerodynamics.

And large flat surface area for maximum number of solar panels.



Articles on auto rickshaws


Without chargers, solar rickshaws gather dust

In Chandigarh the administration provided a public transport system in the form of solar rickshaws has fallen flat. These lot of first 10 eco friendly vehicles provided by the administration are now in the municipal corporation gathering dust upon them.

Later on by random selection these vehicles were given to some rickshaw drivers. At various location in the city charging points were to be provided by the municipal corporation for charging these rickshaws which were not done. Disappointed by the municipal corporation these vehicles were returned back to the municipal corporation.

These green rickshaws weighted about 210 kg and had a speed of 15 to 20 km per hour and had a solar battery that lasted for 6 hours or 70 km on which these rickshaws were operated. It took about 5 hours to charge these batteries with the help of charging units which had to be connected to solar panels. In order to make this scheme successful the municipal corporation has to set up charging units at different location in the city.

People would also prefer these green rickshaws to some extend compared to the diesel or petrol version of the rickshaws as it addressed environment concerns.



Solar rickshaws find no takers

BANGALORE: India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) launched a solar rickshaw with great fanfare two years ago had found no takers yet. While is causing concern a engineer from Pune claimed that his design was copied by CSIR.

” Solecksaw ” which is three wheeled, in principle can use electricity to drive the motor by converting sunlight with the help of solar panels. It was promoted as a green rickshaw as it did not contribute to global warming as it emits no gases, and was developed by a unit of CSIR which is know as Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) which is Durgapur, West Bengal.

But the solecksaw has not caught on in spite of its high – voltage publicity. Till now in the markets these rickshaws have not been sold on commercial basis, said the head of the manufacturing technology group at CMERI ” Mr. Amit Banerjee “

In Delhi, Durgapur, Kolkata, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Dhanbad, and Ahmedabad, around 30 soleckshaws which were fabricated at CMERI were deployed initially for demonstration said senior adviser ” Mr. Himadri Maiti “. He also admitted that they are not in operation currently due to various local management and administrative problems.

The Central Electronics Limited did set-up some charging stations at few places but these stations are not been used to charge the soleckshaws batteries as the vehicle in those location are not operating said Mr. Himadri Maiti.

At least 1000 solecksaws were to be deployed in the common wealth games village in Delhi was the plan of CSIR which was abandoned as the Games Organising Committee backed out on the proposal, on the plea of security issues, to which they had agreed initially.

Mr. Himadi Maiti also said the proposal by CSIR to operate at least 10 solecksaws for delivering post under a pilot project

And the CSIR’s proposal to operate at least 10 soleckshaws for postal delivery under a pilot project in Rajashtan’s Ajmer district is still pending with the postal department, he said.


Web messenger drives civic campaigns for noble cause

BANGALORE: Vivan Philips a post graduate student of psychology is the common man’s messenger who take the common man’s problems to the government by collating people’s votes on small yet crucial issues. Last year around June he launched a website www.consciousevolutionmovement.com where people can file their petitions with a big banner he was at Cubbon park for two issues “ensuring wall climbers on metro rail pillars and urging manufactures to produce non-polluting auto rickshaw asking for votes.

Vivian is still on the same campaign this year having some interesting observations:

A majority of volunteers and voters he got for these issues are student. The wall climbers campaign got the maximum response and the introduction of non-polluting auto rickshaw or immediately even replacing them this issue was supported by many college students.

Two other issues were recently added by him following the public demands, which included raising enough funds to educate every under- privileged child and mass production of solar panels by the government.




Information on solar panels

“A solar panel is a device that collects photons of sunlight, which are very small packets of electromagnetic radiation energy, and converts them into electrical current that can be used to power electrical loads.”

The use of solar energy started more than 100 years back, at the beginning solar power was just used to produce steam to run some machinery. This was until the discovery by “Henri Becquerel” of photovoltaic effect allowed to convert solar energy (sunlight) into electrical energy.

Becquerel’s discovery then led “Charles Fritts” to invent the first genuine solar cell in 1893 which was made by coating sheets of selenium with a thin layer of gold, from this arised the device we know today a solar panel.

An American inventor named “Russel Ohl” patented the world’s first silicon solar cell in 1941. Ohl’s invention led to the production of the first solar panelin 1954. These new solar panels were first used in space satellites, but “today solar panels and complete solar panel systems are used to power a wide variety of applications”.

How does an solar panel work?Solar Photovoltaic Power System Diagram

Solar panels collect sunlight which is a clean renewable source of energy and convert it into electricity. This electricity can be use to run electrical loads. Solar panels are made up of many individual solar cell which are composed of layers of silicon, boron (which provides the positive charge) and phosphorous (which provides the negative charge). The photons are absorbed by the solar panels and in doing so an electric current is initiated. The resulting energy is produced from photons striking the solar panel surface which “allow electrons to be knocked out of their atomic orbits and released into the electric field generated by the solar cell which then pull these free electrons into a directional current. This entire process is know as the photovoltaic effect”.

An average home can produce enough electricity using solar panels for all of its electrical load, as it has enough roof area for number of solar panels. As solar panels produce direct current (DC) it cannot be used to support electrical load, but with the help of an invertor that converts direct current into alternating current (AC), one can use the electricity to support electrical loads, different size of solar panel arrays meet different demanding electrical loads. The direct current produced by a solar panel which can converted into alternating current by the help of invertors can be used to power different loads in a commercial building or a house, it can also be used to power remote traffic controls, boat, vehicles, telecommunication equipments and many such machinery.

Benefits of solar panels:

Producing electricity using solar panels is a very practical way for many applications. This is very beneficial to people who live off-grid, off- grid means living in a location where there is no electrical supply from the main electric utility grid. Many homes and cabins in a remote areas benefits using a solar panel system, as compared to the huge fees for installing a electric utility poles from the main grid access point, solar power system is less expensive and if maintained properly can provide power for nearly three decades.

The greatest benefits one can enjoy by using solar power is that it is a clean and renewable source of energy, as global climate change is the biggest problem we face today it is very important to reduce the pressure on the atmosphere from the emission of greenhouse gases. Solar panels require very less maintenances as it has no moving parts and if properly maintained can last for decades.

Once the installation cost is been paid of a solar power system the electricity it produce is absolutely free for the rest of the systems lifespan that could be upto 15 – 20 years depending on the quality of the system, due to this one can eliminate the monthly electric bills and it can also be an additional income, because if one uses less power than the total power produced by the solar system the excess power can be sold to the electric utility company.



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