Automobiles are a major contributor to greenhouse emissions and they have made humans significantly less physically active. The looming threat of global warming and the increased prevalence of NCDs tell most of the story. The HumanCar is a daring innovation that aims to address both problems.
Design and Features
At first glance, you might think it is a very big pedal car belonging to some rich kid in the neighborhood. Such is the build of this Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) and the manufacturer hopes it would be fascinating enough to change the face of commuting in the country. On getting closer, you realize it looks like a car that actually might take you somewhere. But the tiny nature of the tires makes you doubt if it could move around fast enough. Well, the answer to that lies in your rowing ability.
The HumanCar Imagine PS converts the rider’s rowing motion into rotational thrust to power the vehicle and at the same time charge the battery. However, there is an electric motor that could make the task slightly easier. Furthermore, each seat (four in total) comes with a rowing handlebar such that passengers can also help with rowing. Asides providing more energy to power movement, it could be a great way to have fun with the family or friends.
Perhaps you feel you have had enough physical activity for the day, you may opt to charge the battery via a standard electrical outlet. It will be even much better if the power source for the outlet is a renewable energy source. By doing so, you will be ensure that your HumanCar leaves zero carbon footprint.
Steering and Braking systems
The manufacturers rightly figured that simultaneously rowing and steering rowing handles would be cumbersome. Thus, they incorporated the ‘body steering’ technology that allows you to steer the vehicle via leaning movements. This is no doubt much easier and more fun than using the conventional steering wheel. The HumanCar further comes with an advanced power system and a regenerative braking system, all in a bid to enhance efficiency.
Backup power source
As an added bonus, the HumanCar can serve as a backup power source, especially on trips to remote areas. The manufacturers claim that four people rowing the vehicle for a couple of minutes produced enough electricity to power a PC for more than one hour. Even if you are at home and you do not wish to go anywhere, you can simply jump into the car and generate some renewable energy, while ensuring you are fulfilling your exercise quota for the day.
The HumanCar is not a vehicle for the highways. If you are relying on your rowing power alone, you can expect a top speed that is anywhere between 25 to 35 mph; just about the speed you will go on a fast bicycle. With some electricity boost, you may achieve even greater speeds. However, you should know what your state laws say about the speed limit for electric NEVs. The manufacturers assure the car has been tested at up to 60 miles an hour, and the braking and steering systems worked just fine.
Available information reveals that the vehicle is not yet available for sale to the general public. The manufacturers project that the basic model could cost as much as $15,500. However, there is no assurance of that being the selling price. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to go by on the official website.