Here’s to human power

March 3, 2010 § 1 Comment

This has a touch of the Fred Flintstones about it, but it’s raised a smile: the HumanCar is a nice antidote to all the hybrid supercars and technically-complex machines on display at the Geneva Motor Show this week. How does it work? The driver – and passengers, if aboard – get to work with rowing-like motions, and generate electricity to propel the thing.

Battery power – charged from an external plug-in source – can provide a back-up for when the people on board run out of puff. Chief engineer and HumanCar CEO Chuck Greenwood, who has been developing the idea since a traffic-jam epiphany in 1968, describes the vehicle as a human-electric hybrid.

It might not seem like a serious proposition, but it does actually have quite a bit of potential; such a car could easily serve in place of, say, golf carts on private land, or as a keep-fit commuter vehicle in low-speed zones. Greenwood – based in the wonderfully-named Deep Forest, Oregon – also suggests that it could be a workable transport solution in developing regions without reliable or clean electricity supplies. More info, and video clips, at the HumanCar website.

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