While electric cars save on gas, they still use energy that may not be totally environmentally friendly. An Indiegogo campaign, however, has been started for Sunnyclist, a tricycle-golf cart mixture that has a solar panel on the roof, then harnesses that solar energy and stores it in the battery.
Of course, sometimes the sun disappears for a while, and while Sunnyclist does allow users to plug their car in to charge it like other electric cars, users could also use the opportunity to work out with the pedal generators that are installed for both the driver and the passengers in the three-seater. An extra rear-facing seat can be added to accommodate two more passengers.
The Sunnyclist was first thought of back in 2011 by a group of engineers from Greece. A working prototype was developed in 2012, and by 2013 a second prototype was under development. The vehicle has achieved some pretty impressive feats, such as covering a 497-mile trek in a tour of the island of Crete.
The Sunnyclist itself is small and lightweight, and is about as large as a small car. It is powered by a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery that feeds two 6 kW brushless motors that are found toward the back of the car. The solar panel on the top of the car rotates, so that no matter which direction the car is going, it can maximize how much solar power it is capturing. In fact, this increases the overall efficiency of the car by as much as 30 percent.
The pedals don’t work the same as a bike—instead of physically moving the vehicle, they generate energy for its battery. Not only that, but interestingly enough, the Pedal Power Pack can be detached and used at home with a specially equipped bike, so the user can charge the battery while they’re exercising.
The vehicle itself has a top speed of 31 mph, and is set to be produced in three variants.
The first is the City version, which has a 60 Ah battery with a range of 22 miles, as well as a top speed of 31 mph and an average speed 21.7 miles per hour.
The next is the Traveler version, which has a larger solar panel, pedals for each passenger and a 100 Ah battery with a range of 43 miles, although users can get more range using the pedals and solar power that will charge as the user goes. The Traveler version also has the same top speed as the City version, 31 mph.
Last but not least is the Standard version, which is for use in large, private facilities like hotels. It’s powered by a 40 Ah battery and offers a range of 15.5 miles. Its top speed is a little lower than the other two versions, coming in at 25 mph.
Those interested can head to the Indiegogo campaign, where reserving a vehicle will start at $1,094, but to actually buy it users will need to shell out $7,115. There are 66 days left on the campaign to reach its approximately $109,455 goal.[“source-techtimes”]