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An electric-assisted hybrid bicycle which is both a motorbike and bicycle, has been recently built by two final year undergraduates of Moratuwa University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Final Year undergraduates Risira Kannangara and Venura Dissanayake with guidance and supervision from their senior lecturers Dr Nirosh Jayaweera and Asitha Kulasekare, built this bicycle that has a motor as well as pedals.

“With the hike in vehicular traffic within urban areas, the demand for bicycles is bound to grow, not only in developed countries, but in countries like ours,” the inventors said.

However, due to the heat and humidity, cycling can be exhausting. A motor is the ideal solution for those who wish to get about without ‘effortlessly’. This method of transport is also eco friendly, they said.

The battery-operated motor is so made that it can be charged at home, and has a gear hub with eight speed variations. The motor is attached close to the pedal to enable the rider increase speed using the pedal. With a maximum speed of 24 kmph, the 28-kg electric assisted bicycle can carry about 120 kg. Once charged, it can traverse about 10 km. The bicycle also has an ECO mode common in hybrid vehicles, that will help save battery life. This month, another group of final year undergraduates of the same Dept converted a conventional gasoline powered Mini MK2 into an electric vehicle.

(NF)

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