Origins of “The SunPedal Ride”

In the summer of 2016, with an aim to make people in India aware about the importance and need of sustainable energy, Sushil Reddy, an IIT Bombay alumnus, began an adventure called “The SunPedal Ride” in which he rode a solar powered electric bicycle across 9 states of India in 79 days, traveling over 4613 miles during the journey, an average of 60 miles a day. Along the way he spoke at seminars, while also engaging with the burgeoning online community following his work to push truly sustainable and renewable transportation for the citizens of India. His support crew for this ride included Rajendra Bhaskar, Krunal Tailor and Himanshu Singh, all alumni of IIT Bombay. The teams efforts earned them a Guinness World Record for the “Longest Journey on a Solar-Powered Electric Bicycle.”

Sushil Reddy (left) and his crew earn the Gunniness World Record for “Longest Journey on a Solar Powered Electric Bicycle”. Photograph courtesy Sushil Reddy.

After the world record confirmation, Sushil was contacted by the director of The Sun Trip company in France, Mr. Florian Bailly. Started in the year 2013, The Sun Trip company organizes races and rallies of solar powered electric bicycles to promote renewable energy and clean transportation. In its 3rd edition this past July 8-21st, the rally aimed to promote solar energy while making it accessible to all in the form of a 1000 kilometer tour in the Alps on solar powered electric bicycles and tricycles. There were a recorded 45 participants from across the world taking part in this rally from 7 countries including Netherlands, Belgium & USA.

The SunPedal Ride: France Edition

Before starting The Sun Trip tour on July 8th, Sushil Reddy toured France on a solar electric bicycle for approximately 1250 miles while giving seminars in universities. He was accompanied by a support rider on his bicycle, Rajendra Bhaskar, an IIT Bombay student from the Energy Science and Engineering Department. The June ride in France was an extension to Sushil’s initiative – The SunPedal Ride. Through interacting with people during the journey and talking about the solar energy scenario in India, the focus was on highlighting the facts, figures and future trends with the content provided by partner organization, BridgeToIndia. These seminars were arranged by the Science and Technology Department of the French Embassy, India at universities IMS Bordeaux, INP Toulouse, HEC Paris and INSEAD University, all in France.

Sushil Reddy (left) and Rajendra Bhaskar made it to the Eiffel Tower in France! Photograph courtesy Sushil Reddy.

Sushil and Rajendra also visited the world’s first solar road, Wattway in France and the solar company, SolarEdge in Lyon. The Indian Embassy in Paris helped to spread the word, as well. The Indo-French Chamber of commerce and France Tourism Development Agency, and Accor Hotels supported Sushil and Rajendra on their journey to promote renewable energy and Indo-France relations in terms originally outlined during the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.  Exhibitions India Group and LAVA International also provided support for the clean energy initiative.

Sushil and Rajendra are now looking to raise funds with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. The funds will partly go towards getting solar power to a village school in Jatwara, Rajasthan via the NGO – Hockey Village India.

Sushil Reddy (left) and Rajendra Bhaskar, members of The SunPedal team that are working to raise awareness for renewable and sustainable transportation. Reddy and his crew hold the Guinness World Record for the longest solar-powered electric bike ride, 79 days and 4613 miles and will be coming to the west coast for a SF to San Diego tour this fall. Photograph courtesy Sushil Reddy.

Guinness World Record Holder, IIT Bombay alumnus to ride from San Francisco to San Diego on a solar ebike to promote solar energy and sustainable transportation

Rinal Chheda and Anuj Karkare, both alumni from Indian Institute of Technology, will join Sushil Reddy for the USA part of the journey from San Francisco to San Diego. Sushil is invited to the solar power international conference at Las Vegas from September 11th to 14th to talk about the solar energy awareness cause – The SunPedal Ride. Sushil, Rinal and Anuj will be talking in some universities on the west coast and interacting with people throughout the journey about the importance and scenario of solar energy. The ebikes will be given by Hero Eco A2B.

Sushil and his solar powered electric bicycle. Photograph courtesy Sushil Reddy.

Team details and more information can be found at thesunpedalride.in

Supporting Organisations for the France and USA editions of the solar ebike ride cause – SolarEdge, LAVA international, Exhibitions India Group, The Science and Technology Division of the French Embassy, Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry, France Tourism Development Agency – Accor Hotels Group, The Sun Trip organization, BridgetoIndia, IIT Bombay, QOS Energy and Merlin Solar(Waaree).