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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.