solar-wheelchair3SolarChargedDriving.Com is dedicated to educating people about the fact that solar can power the transportation sector – hence one of our slogans, Where solar and electric driving merge™.

And, in an effort to highlight the synergy between solar and driving of all kinds, we’ve covered solar-charged planes, solar-charged boats, and, of course, solar-charged cars. But we’d never heard of a solar-powered wheelchair – until now.

Haidar Taleb, a 47-year-old man with polio from the United Arab Emirates, created a solar-powered wheelchair for himself and then covered 200 miles in it in the UAE in November and December of 2010.

“By taking-up this journey, I want to raise awareness about disability and tell people that we, despite our disability, can achieve anything as an individual if we are determined to try and have courage to do so,” Taleb said before he started.

With his trip, Taleb helped to promote eco friendly wheelchairs as well.

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“This journey was important in the sense that through it, apart from encouraging persons with disabilities in general, I have shown the world that solar-powered wheelchairs are important and they can change the lives of persons with mobility problems,” he said.

The wheelchair, developed in collaboration with Masdar, has a maximum speed of 20 kilometers per hour. The solar cells charge four 20w batteries. Hanging overhead, the solar panels also create shade for the chair.

Charging batteries of traditional electric wheelchairs imposes limitations as it is time-consuming and requires the user to remain close to areas with easy access to electricity. The advantage of the solar power wheelchair is that it automatically charges when exposed to the sun’s rays.

For more information and pictures, check out the web site created to cover the trip at http://www.bewithhaidar.com/

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