Only in Amsterdam: Solar-powered rickshaw hits the streets

Thomas Lundy is a man with a dream. That dream is to create the most eco-friendly vehicles known to man while giving his legs a bit of a rest. His solar-powered rickshaw is his genesis.

We say solar powered but it's actually semi-solar because he uses his legs to get around as well. You see, Lundy spent the summer pedalling the mean streets of Amsterdam making himself a living as a rickshaw cabbie and knackering himself out in the process.

His Solarshaw (he can have that name) gives him a little extra 'leccy drive, so his legs don't become the size of Mark Cavendish's. Like a Sinclair C5 with solar input or a Nissan Leaf you have to pedal 95% of the time.

The Solarshaw works thanks to three solar panels bolted to the roof. As long as the sun is in the sky (yes, even when it's obscured by clouds) it'll collect energy and store it until Lundy calls upon a little bit of a boost. Think of it as a solar-powered KERS device for the roads.

Seeing as summer has fast disappeared, Lundy is planning on using the daylightless winter to research solar energy in greater depth and see if he can get a little more from the Solarshaw.

Lundy commented: "The costs and the amount of energy generated through such a solar application now is not that much, but of course it will get bigger as technology develops."

He's hoping that when the tourists return in their droves next spring, he won't have to do much exercise at all and the bike's batteries will take most of the strain.

Now, there are massively overpriced rickshaws littering the streets of many cities all over the country. If they went solar powered would they charge more or less?

Or would you still just get a cab instead?

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