The rise in the price of fossil fuel and threats like global warming are the driving forces behind the development of several eco-friendly zero-emission vehicles. When it comes to zero-emissions, nothing beats the good old bicycles. While several auto designers are envisioning vehicles that are powered by renewable sources of energy, there are some who believe that simple technology used in bikes can be incorporated in cars as well. Here is a list of 10 such vehicles that are powered by clean human energy:
Converted ’86 Buick Regal
This shared propulsion car has been crafted by stripping of an old 1986 Buick Regal of its engine, suspension, transmission and electric systems. The vehicle has been outfitted with four independent pedals and gear mechanisms. The vehicle retains the illusion of the mass-produced luxury automobile, but is reduced to a shell that now has a top speed of 15kph.
The Human Car
The Human Car is a zero-emission vehicle built by a Seattle Company that has a body made from lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber. Weighing about 400 pounds, the vehicle can set four passengers and can ride at a top speed of 35mph.
Ferdinand GT3 RS
Based around the design of a Porsche 911, the Ferdinand GT3 RS could well be the slowest Porsche around. The vehicle has been crafted from aluminum foil, cardboard and a cycle cart to make its weight more manageable for its new pedal-powered engine.
The ElectriLite is a hybrid vehicle developed by Omni Instruments. While the vehicle’s primary drive consists of electric motors that are fueled by onboard solar panels, the vehicle also includes pedal-powered generators that can be used to refuel the vehicle’s electric battery bank. The car weighs just 350lbs and will run on three wheels. It can seat two people and can achieve a top speed of 40mph.
Designed by Eliseu Santos the URB 21 or the Human Energy Moving Urban Vehicle is equipped with a system that accumulates the energy produced by pedaling using an inertial fly wheel, which is transferred to the rear wheel. In order to reduce muscular fatigue and make the car more user-friendly, the designer had to think of an alternative to the steering wheel and pedal controls, which Eliseu accomplished by mounting all controls on handlebars which are located on either side of the seat.
Solar Human Hybrid
The SOHH or Solar Human Hybrid vehicle has been developed by a team of students from the Novato Charter School. The vehicle is not one of those beauties you can see on the steers in a couple of decades, but uses current technology to prove the potential of solar and human power. Using pedals as the main power source, the vehicle is assisted by solar panels mounted on top of the vehicle. The SOHH vehicle is designed to seat four people, a dog and some cargo and is equipped with a 1HP electric motor and a pair of sodium silicate batteries that collectively allow the vehicle to run at about 18mph.
Trailcart Pedal-powered SUV
The Trailcart could well be the future of off-road adventure for the post peak oil generation. The four-wheel drive off-road vehicle has been designed to counter any terrain using just energy from the rider’s legs.
The Dogsled pedal-powered machine looks like a scaled-down version of a monster truck with its fully-triangulated frame made from steel and solid axes front and rear. The frame is suspended both by transverse leaf-springs mounted above the axles and coil-overs at each corner. All four riders pedal to power the right rear wheel with the left rear seeing braking duties.
The ZEM or Zero Emissions has been created by a team of students and professors from San Jose University and is the only prototype of what may be the first vehicle powered by human, solar and electrical power. While the vehicle can be powered by the four onboard solar panels, it can also run at a top speed of 8mph using a set of bicycle pedals for both the driver and the passenger.
Pedal powered Prom Car
This might not be the vehicle you’ll like to use for prom, but two eco-conscious individuals thought that there isn’t any specific time to show that you care and hence crafted a vehicle that runs entirely on pedals, which was later used for the day.