The idea of developing vehicles fascinates making. Furthermore, since as humans we do not like to rely on machines, the idea of vehicle running on our own force entices it even further. In addition, now that the prices of fossil fuels are rising considerably, we are feeling the need more and more urgently. In addition, it also resonates pretty well with our need to save the environment. Several innovative designers from all around the world are coming up with their innovative designs of human-powered vehicles. In fact, these designers are going way out of the box. They aren’t just restricting their imaginations to building just bicycles.
More than just a bicycle
When asked to think of a human-powered vehicle the first image that pops into the mind must be the bicycle. The bicycle is a machine that uses and enhances human muscle power to achieve speeds one normally wouldn’t by walking or running while exerting the same effort. The technology for maximizing muscle power has raced ahead since the bicycle was invented. So whether your reasons for switching are exercise, concern for the environment, saving costs or leisure check out these twelve striking, human-powered vehicles.
16 – Most striking human-powered vehicles
1. Race with human-powered electric-assist vehicle:
Inspired by feathers, Mexican designer Ivan Vela has created this feather light vehicle that is powered by the rider and an electric assist. Speeds over 70 kph are achieved through the accumulators that store kinetic energy generated while pedaling a big sprocket measuring 40cm in diameter.
2. Zero-emission community car:
Designer Todd Dawson has developed this zero-emission green car in several variants ranging from a four person community vehicle to a single person utility vehicle. The concept can function as both a community car and as a tradesman’s vehicle, thereby becoming highly active in community for both transportation of people and cargo.
3. Hand powered hybrid:
This hybrid car runs by a push- pull hand mechanism to power the batteries that drive the electric motors. It seats four and weighs 400 pounds. Human Car is a Seattle based company that is taking pre-orders at USD 15,000 and will start producing when the numbers hit 100.
4. TW4XP hybrid vehicle:
The TW4XP is a three-wheel vehicle that derives power from its electric engine combined with a pedaling mechanism. This cute car was built as an entry for the Progressive Automotive X-Prize in the Alternative Side-by-Side category.
5. Exo-Audi concept:
The designer, Andrea Mocellin’s brings in nanotechnology and the car’s exteriors to build a futuristic fast car. Inspired by sports equipment, footwear design and human instinct, this design uses the driver’s own kinetic energy but exactly how is kept a mystery so far.
6. Antro Solo:
This 600 lbs looker drives at a whopping 145 kmph! It is primarily driven on solar power with panels on the exterior. Alternate power sources are pedals, batteries that store solar energy and for the lazy a gas/ethanol combustion engine.
7. GYM Concept:
No it is not the new Batsmobile! The GYM Concept car was designed by Da Feng to have a gym built into the car. You can power the batteries while working out or through a regular battery socket.
The Velomobiles are on the road and sold at $8000. This practical human powered cars are already popular in Europe. It has an electric assist motor that lightens the effort required to drive it.
Design student Bilgi Karan created this as a part of a Master of Arts project the Umea Institute of Design. It comes with an electric motor powered by human power by pedaling. The little space it occupies will keep the streets congestion free.
Francesco Russo built the Ristretto to be the world’s fastest human powered car. It currently drives at a top speed of 148 kmph. The rider will have to lie in almost a sleeping position in this two-wheel car.
11. Flux – Tilts to the Future
This three wheeled car tilts at one end to provide stability on curves giving it an interesting look. The Flux also aids the pedalling allowing larger amounts of air flow to circulate around the user.
12. NoVelo updates for the Flintstones
This is the car Fred Flinstone would get if he wanted to pedal at 50 kmph! This hybrid vehicle is powered by pedalling and electric power and is based on the Velomobile.
Do you want to fly without wings? Now, you can do this by using the Streetflyer, which is actually an oversized tricycle, used as a hand glider. The credit for designing this one of a kind glider goes to Dr. Carsten Mehring. The body of the StreetFlyer is made up of lightweight but highly durable carbon fiber. You can use this zero emission human powered vehicle for horizontal hang gliding. The structure has a body harness, which allows you to achieve the horizontal hand gliding position. The StreetFlyer is a portable vehicle because its frame is foldable.
14. The Pardo
Several designers consider wildlife as a source of inspiration and the designer of Pardo, Pablo Lopez, is also one of them. Pablo has created this human powered vehicle for Innovar, an annual contest held in Argentina. The design of Pardo imitates a running cheetah. The lower part of this vehicle has two pedals, which are used to generate power required to run this tricycle. The Pardo is a completely green vehicle because it is 100 percent emission free. Besides this, it is portable and easy to store as it can be folded.
15. Human-powered green vehicle
This green colored human powered green vehicle has been recovered from trash. It seems that the designer had made it as part of an experiment and was later discarded by him due to reasons better known to him alone. The rider’s position in this vehicle is so low that he can easily slide below a truck without getting a scratch. It seems disheartening to know that this fine prototype was dumped by the designer.
16. Hand powered quadcycle
The advent of computers has decreased the amount of manual labor in our lives and has made exercising a necessity. Most of us do not exercise regularly because some of us find it boring and the others have no time for it, but thanks to Ferez Industries and its new unconventional quadcycle the Champiot, which we can use for exercising while riding to the office. This is one of those human-powered vehicles that are completely emission free and are powered by the arms.