01 Oct 2008 05:10:28
Zero-emissions hybrid bike developed
A zero-emissions hybrid vehicle that uses solar power and pedal power has been designed.
The Cycle Sol is a bicycle which has a canopy lined with solar cells, which collect energy to add extra power to the spinning of the wheels.
A battery collects the solar energy which is then used to power a motor in the back wheel, speeding the bike along at 15mph with minimal effort and reducing the strain on the rider on uphill sections of their journey.
The bright yellow bicycle, brought to the concept stage by London-based designer Miroslav Milijevic, can also be connected to a mains supply so that the motor can assist the rider even when the sun has not been out.
Mr Milijevic told the Times: "It is just like an electric bike but the motor runs on a battery powered by solar energy. You can leave it outside the office during the day to top up the rechargeable, ready for the ride home. These days solar cells are pretty good at picking up the lowest amount of light so it should still work when the skies are cloudy."
Given the recent announcement that the most efficient solar cell yet has been developed, the future could see the bicycle's performance improve.http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article...