Warangal: G. Rajendra Prasad always dreamed of owning a car but due to his financial conditions, it never happened. However, Rajendra Prasad didn't give up. A year ago, the idea of building his own car dawned upon him and based on his self-taught knowledge about automobiles, he built an electric car.
A resident of Konapuram village in Warangal (Rural), Rajendra makes a living as a TV mechanic. He has always been an electronics fanatic. Almost a year ago, Rajendra began collecting second-hand spare parts that are usually discarded such as motors, iron rods, and more. In his free time, he studied various car models. "With the petrol and diesel prices skyrocketing, I felt that an electric car would be more useful. Also, electric cars don't cause pollution. I liked the idea of it," Rajendra says.
"The model failed many times. But finally, over the last three months, it has been running smoothly," he adds.
The outer body of Rajendra's car is made with silver rakes and iron rods. All other parts such as the steering wheel and brakes he collected from the scrapyard and second-hand shops.
It takes three-four hours to completely charge Rajendra's car. "With a full charge, the vehicle runs 55-60 km at a maximum speed of 35-40 kilometers per hour," he explains. Rajendra says that upon further development, it would be possible to increase the speed of the vehicle by adjusting motor capacity but he hasn't done that yet.
Rajendra uses the car in his village to run errands and to commute to his workplace. "I use the car for one-two hours every day. I haven't faced any problems related to charging either," he says. He charges his car once every two days.
The main component of the electric car – a DC motor – was a tad bit difficult to find, Rajendra says. "DC motors are used for an electric vehicle while AC motors for non-electric vehicles. It was very difficult to find a second-hand DC motor since very few people use electric vehicles. After a long search, I ordered a new DC motor online. It cost me Rs. 18,000," he says.
It cost Rajendra approximately Rs. 60,000- 70,000 to build the car.
Rajendra studied till intermediate in Warangal. After that, he began working as a mechanic to support his family. "I loved science and electronics. I always used to perform various experiments in the science lab and continue to do the same as a mechanic," he says.
Rajendra says that if he can build a car with his menial education and a degree, then anyone can. "It takes hard work and patience and more importantly, belief. Despite having very little money and fewer resources, I was determined and I believed very strongly that I could do it," he says.
"I wasn't encouraged by my villagers. However, now I am one of the only people to own a car and everyone looks up to me," he says.
He wants to modify the car by installing solar equipment and turning the electric car into a solar-based electric car. "The equipment costs Rs. 40,000 and I don't have that amount right now," he says. Rajendra is looking for financial assistance so that he can update his car. "In fact, I'd like to make more cars. It will be nice if someone can finance it," he says.