Conversion and performance evaluation of petrol engine to electric powered three-wheeler vehicle with an onboard solar charging system

Adem Siraj Mohammed, Ayodeji Olalekan Salau, Boyce Sigweni, Adamu Murtala Zungeru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Environmental pollution and global warming due to the emission of gases from internal combustion engines has become a global issue that has made automobile companies develop emission-free or pure electric vehicles. The objective of this work is to convert the Bajaj three-wheeler (Indian-made auto-rickshaw) into a pure electric three-wheeler with an onboard battery charging system with a solar panel. Conversion methods were used and the engine and fuel-related components of the existing Bajaj were removed and replaced with the electric motor, battery, and associated components. Furthermore, the performance of the prototype was also analyzed for its maximum vehicle speed, grading capacity, acceleration performance, and driving range on flat and sloped roads. The proposed electric vehicle prototype is equipped with four solar panels installed on top of the system, while four batteries of 12 V / 26 Ah each were placed under the driver's seat. The DC motor was arranged to deliver the required torque and power through the chain-sprocket mechanism of the differential. The vehicle has a mechanical reverse system to drive the car rearward without changing the motor's rotational direction. For evaluation, the vehicle's dynamic performance was determined, and the results show that the maximum vehicle speed, grading capacity, and driving range are 30 km/hr, 1 degree, and 34 km, respectively. The acceleration and gradability performance was computed as 0.106 m/s2 and 2.2% or 1.26 degrees respectively. The time required to accelerate from 0 to 30 km/hr is 78 s. In addition, it was observed that the onboard solar charging system increased the driving range by 17 km. The results were auspicious, and the proposed system performed satisfactorily for the purpose it was developed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100427
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management: X
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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