In Conversation about Solar Energy and Electric Mobility Need in India

Contributed By: Ankush S
Edited By: J K Varshika

In the summer of 2016, with an aim to create awareness and sensitize people about the importance and need of sustainable clean renewable energy and electric mobility, Sushil Reddy, an IIT Bombay alumnus, initiated a movement called “The SunPedal Ride”. Sushil rode a solar-powered electric bicycle across 9 states in 79 days and 7424 km and delivered seminars via public speaking and community engagement on solar energy. There was a support crew comprising of Rajendra Bhaskar, Krunal Tailor, and Himanshu Singh. This environmental awareness cause to promote sustainability was a Guinness and Limca World Record for the longest journey on a solar-powered electric bicycle. The SunPedal Ride initiative was inaugurated in IIT Bombay by Mr. Brijesh Nair, Project Director of Intersolar India.

The SunPedal Ride has traveled more than 13000 kilometers using only renewable energy so far in India, France, California, and Iceland. Now, Mr. Sushil will be riding a solar-powered electric bicycle for 15 days from 26th November to 10th December in Bengaluru visiting schools, universities and corporate organizations where he will be interacting with people about clean energy scenario in India and showcasing the concept of using renewable energy to power electric vehicles. This is the fifth edition of ‘The SunPedal Ride’ initiative. The solar-powered electric bicycle will be demonstrated during interactions with people throughout the journey and it will be kept on display at Intersolar India expo (10th anniversary) from 11th to 13th December at BIEC for visitors to learn about electric vehicles. A support vehicle – Electric Vehicle Mahindra e2o by Zoomcar will accompany Sushil during his journey in Bengaluru.

Taking this opportunity to sensitize the students and the community about the need for solar power and electric mobility, an inaugural session was organized by the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) at IIM Bangalore on 14th November which included a panel discussion among industry experts on the topic of ‘B2B and B2C: Challenges and opportunities for growth for solar energy and electric mobility’. The opening speeches were given by Mr. Bhupinder Singh – CEO Intersolar India, Mr. Andrew Hines – CEO of CleanMax Solar and Mr. K J George – Minister of Large and Medium Size Industry, Karnataka.

The panel members comprised of Mr. Banjit Das (Country Head, QOS Energy), Mr. Mukundan Narasimhan (Managing Director & Founder, PlaySolar Systems Pvt Ltd), Mr. Ashok Thanikonda (Senior Project Associate, World Resources Institute), Mr. Abhilash Nair (Power and EV Charging, ABB), Ms. Avani Goyal (Project Associate, TRC Solutions California) and Mr. Dhanasekaran Radhakrishnan (Director, India Engineering, Faurecia Clean Mobility). The discussion was moderated by Ms. Dhrithi Mahadevan who is a Ph.D. student at IIM Bangalore. It was an insightful conversation amongst the top CEOs who emphasized the importance of sustainable energy in today’s world of pollution and climate change. The event was much lauded by a full house and gave much perspective on what is the need of the hour.

Ankush is a student of PGP 2017-19 batch at IIM Bangalore and is a member of the Environment and Sustainability Club.

Media Cell IIMB is the student run outreach and communication committee of IIM Bangalore dedicated to form the bridge within the student community and the outside world.

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