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Old 04-20-2009, 02:35 PM   #1
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Default HumanCar is Back With a Grid-Rechargeable NEV - People Still Needed

Just in time for Earth Day 2009, the company that wants to put us into people-powered cars is coming out with a new model, the Imagine PS, a grid-rechargeable neighborhood electric vehicle that gets additional go power from its occupants and also could be used as a temporary power station. HumanCar says the PS-NEV, which is scheduled to be featured on the Discovery Channel's Daily Planet program in Canada all this week (the Oregon-based company is taking reservations on-line already) will be priced at $15,500 and is slated to hit the streets later this year - possibly, the company says, along with several other previously introduced HumanCar models that have been delayed.

The price will get you an aluminum-bodied, open car with looks only a mother could love. A spinoff from last year's people-powered Imagine LMV (low-mass vehicle), it is powered by a pair of permanent magnet DC motors that turn the rear wheels and draw their juice from lead-acid batteries that are charged from a conventional 110-volt power outlet.

Additional range can be obtained by augmenting the grid-charged batteries with juice generated by the car's human occupants, who "row" with oar-handle like levers attached to each seating position.

The manufacturer says the vehicle is limited to total powertrain weight, including batteries, of 400 pounds. A nickel-metal hydride battery pack is available for a "high-performance" option that uses more powerful three-phase AC motors and can add up to $10,000 to the base cost, depending on the amount of battery capacity and motor power a customer wants.

The power stored in the batteries, either left over from the grid-charge or from the regenerative braking system and human-powered generator, also can use used with an optional Home Unit to run household appliances, said Chuck Greenwood, HumanCar's chief executive. The "PS" in the car's name stands for "power station."

(Greenwood says the company also is starting to test lithium-ion batteries but has no timetable for adopting them.)

As a NEV, the Imagine PS is limited to a top speed of 35 miles an hour, he said. The company's aiming at what it sees as a growing number of people who can use low-speed transportation for much of their daily driving and who want to free themselves - and their vehicles - as much as possible from dependence on petroleum.

The marketing message is unique: the Imagine PS not only resolves problems associated with petroleum dependency and greenhouse gas emissions from autos, said Greenwood, but can help its users stay healthy through daily exercise (although not as much as required by the HumanCar FM4 model, which gets all of its power from its people).

Greenwood, whose company is 30 years old, says he's hoping that demand for the Imagine and the other HumanCar models will build to the point the company can scale up to use unemployed, skilled autoworkers and idled factories "to not only provide a boost to the economy but to lower resource dependencies and create healthy people along the way."

You can check out HumanCar and the Imagine PS-NEV on YouTube.

And while the program doesn't air regularly in the U.S., Discovery Channel Canada's "Daily Planet" show is making a piece on the Imagine PS part of it of its Green Week lineup starting today -episodes are available on-line for those who don't get the TV program.

If its human contact with HumanCar that interests you, the company is planning a tour of major U.S. cities this summer.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by teh OP
As a NEV, the Imagine PS is limited to a top speed of 35 miles an hour, he said
NEVs are limited to 25 mph. they can legally only go on roads marked 35 mph limit or less.

and an idea for an open car from an oregon company is the dumbest ever. might as well ride a bicycle, or an electric bike like mine, if you're going to be out in the elements anyway.

oh, and with regard to human power output vs. car energy requirements: one hour of effort for a reasonably fit human will net about 200 Wh. that 200 Wh will drive your electric car for somewhere between 1 and 1.5 miles. x 2

on my electric bike:
OT thread on it: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...php?p=22232995
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