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Yabba Dabba Huh?

By on March 1, 2009
RoadKing Mag

Horsepower can be so overrated. At least that’s what the developers from HumanCar, an industrial design firm, are betting on with the Imagine_PS, or Power Station, vehicle. The vehicle uses electric motors and regenerative braking along with human power to keep it moving at a decent clip.

“The human part is a patented bi-directional human-power interface, which is like a rowing action that uses your entire body,” says Chuck Greenwood, CEO. “One to four people can operate these cars and they create enough electricity by themselves to power computers, cell phones, etc.” He claims that the car is able to reach 60 miles per hour.

Plus, consumers will get one of the most intense workouts of their lives.
“The closest full-body workout I know is cross country skiing or Enduro motocross,”  says Greenwood.

Sounds great, but image is a pretty important factor to today’s consumer. So it’s a good thing that that the Imagine_PS is showing off a sporty and sleek look, nothing too far away from the grid to turn off potential buyers.

“Our goal is to coexist with the radically different small cars that will soon take over our streets,” Greenwood says. “The time is drawing near when all of the elements — manufacturing, marketing, and product optimization — come together in a cost effective and aesthetically pleasing form.”

The human-powered car has been in the works for years, beginning when Greenwood’s father, Charles Samuel Greenwood, started building fuel alcohol dragsters in the 1950s.

In keeping with its environmental impact, design plans for the Imagine_PS call for using recycled plastics, hemp fiber and bamboo.

Not on the market yet, the car has been on display at a few technology expos and CNN did a piece on it. There’s a promotional video on YouTube, and anyone who believes in the concept can preorder the car for $99.

Some have expressed skepticism about how well the Imagine_PS will work in real world situations. Is it really any better than a good bicycle, even if it looks cooler?

“We are an evolving species and it’s natural to resist change, but at the end of the day these cars have the ability to solve our current U.S. cash crisis,” Greenwood says. “Think about it.” 

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