SA university showcases hydrogen bike

13 August 2010

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor has unveiled a hydrogen-powered bicycle, named A hi Fambeni or “Let’s go”, which was designed and developed by the students of the Tshwane University of Technology.

She made the announcement during the second annual RETECZA Conference, held at the Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge in Pilanesberg in the North West province this week.

The Resource Driven Technology Concept Centre (RETECZA) is a non-profit- organization with the vision to be a leading technology concept centre on clean energy, transport and water.

Rural transport system

In a statement this week, Tshwane University of Technology says it developed the bicycle, in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology and Hydrogen South Africa, as a demonstration of a rural transport system.

The hydrogen bicycle project was done under the mentorship of world-renowned designer Pierre Terblanche, who was sponsored by the department to work at the university for a month on the design of a hydrogen bicycle in the context of the RETECZA project.

An expatriate South African who has been working in Italy for the past 20 years, Terblanche has previously won three prizes at the Milan motor bike show and is one of the top designers in the world.

Poverty alleviation, partnership

The main aim of RETECZA is technology concept development for poverty alleviation and involves partners globally.

The mission is to innovate, develop concepts and demonstrate next generation technology to alleviate poverty, increase job opportunities and create industrial growth in a sustainable manner.

The 2010 conference comprised presentations and panel discussions from researchers and senior executives focussing on topics such as clean water, clean transportation and clean energy.

Renowned local and international researchers delivered papers on latest technology that will improve especially the life of people living in rural communities. Some of the researchers come from countries such as Sweden, Germany and Italy.

SAinfo reporter

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