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Build Your Own Solar-Powered Scooter

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the soapbox-racer dept.

Toys 181

An anonymous reader writes "CBC is reporting that the Biomod company in Montreal has released plans for building your own solar scooter for only $1600 (in Canadian funds, no less!) Hopefully the engineering community will take an interest, and add brakes to the blueprints..."

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181 comments

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Hey (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346444)

That's almost enough reason to go outside sometime.

Re:Hey (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346454)

omfg I lost a frist psot thanks to you. Leave your keyboard go outside and get laid. If I wasn't crippled with caffeine withdrawal, I guarantee you I'd be getting some right now. NEVAR 4GET -- dylain

Re:Hey (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346474)

Glad I could be of service.

Oh, and stop making excuses because YOU FAIL IT.

Re:Hey (3, Funny)

Achorny (718501) | about 10 years ago | (#10346628)

And in the sun, no less

Re:Hey (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346837)

It is a proven fact that most nerds spontaneously combust at the site of the sun.

fristage postage is mine (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346446)

Lysol on the 2004 Florida Presidential Ballot

Gary Niger (GNAP [Gay Nigger Associated Press]), West Palm Beach, FL. - With just 50 days remaining until a landmark US presidential election that is still too close to call, Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced Thursday (9/23) that GNAA operative Lysol will be appearing on the election ballot.

"I know that Lysol officially dropped out of the race 6 months ago, but like Ralph Nader, and all liberal candidates, I think he deserves a fair shot.", said Bush.

Amid questions to the governor and brother of incumbent President asking if this is just a ploy to take away votes from John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, Bush said "Um..LOL JEWS", and immediately left the conference.

GNAA psuedo-member DiKKy was seen saying "LOL HY LOL HY LOL" shortly after.

It is assumed that these rumors are not true however, as most analysts feel George W. Bush will carry Florida, as it has already been announced that Florida's black votes will not be counted.

About Lysol

Lysol is a gangster. Before dropping out of the race, Lysol took a firm stance on the rights of gay niggers everywhere, as well as being pro-abortion. Considered to be a member of the radical-left, many felt his attitude towards politics was a refreshing change from "Old fucks that worship Jesus".


About GNAA:
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

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  • Third, you need to join the official GNAA irc channel #GNAA on irc.gnaa.us, and apply for membership.
Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today! Upon submitting your application, you will be required to submit links to your successful First Post, and you will be tested on your knowledge of GAYNIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE.

If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is NiggerNET, and you can connect to irc.gnaa.us as our official server. Follow this link [irc] if you are using an irc client such as mIRC.

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

.________________________________________________.
| ______________________________________._a,____ | Press contact:
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ | Gary Niger
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ | gary_niger@gnaa.us [mailto]
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ | GNAA Corporate Headquarters
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ | 143 Rolloffle Avenue
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ | Tarzana, California 91356
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ | All other inquiries:
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ | Enid Indian
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ | enid_indian@gnaa.us [mailto]
| ______-"!^____________________________________ | GNAA World Headquarters
` _______________________________________________' 160-0023 Japan Tokyo-to Shinjuku-ku Nishi-Shinjuku 3-20-2

Copyright (c) 2003-2004 Gay Nigger Association of America [www.gnaa.us]

omg posted by gay nigger dylain

Re:fristage postage is mine (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346475)

It's unbelievably easy to get first post around here. You GNAA fuckers are pathetic.

Re:fristage postage is mine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346482)

What I just don't understand is... why do you keep posting this GNAA tripe? Is it funny? (no) Is it meaningful? (no) Is it creative? (no) Does anybody actually read anything beyond "GNAA"? (no)

Yet, you post it, over and over again. Over months (years?) of time? What kind of life do you have? Don't you feel ashamed at the time you're wasting posting this repeatedly, when you could be doing something (anything) with yourself?

This action merely bespeaks a truly sorry individual, and I really feel sorry for you. Oh, heck - I'm not even going to post with my account because I don't want to have any association with you.

How pathetic and sorry...

Re:fristage postage is mine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346489)

YHBT YHL HAND.

You can't even comprehend the value of a simple troll, therefore you are a moron.

Re:fristage postage is mine (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346591)

Your methods of entertainment have the same value as a handful of elephant shit.

Re:fristage postage is mine (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346725)

damn that's funny! a handful of elephant shit. that's a small piece of the pile, elephant shit comes in shovel(and greater) loads! Is it worse to get that small piece out when it's hard and you have to dig or when it's soft and just looks real bad?

Re:fristage postage is mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346817)

Your methods of insulting are about as useful as a anal cyst.

Re:fristage postage is mine (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346677)

*sighs* i dont know. i guess i post this bullcrap because im lonely. i have no idea how to make friends. i know about two people offline. im still a virgin at 14. i have something called ADD which makes it hard for me to make friends. i guess its' just that i finally found people like me. i just want to be their friends. that's all. i dont understand why your so mean. plus, that post was kinda funny, wasn't it? i thought so. *sighs*

HA! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346450)

Solar scooter? It'll never go fast enough to need brakes ;)

Scooter? (1, Offtopic)

Thunderstruck (210399) | about 10 years ago | (#10346452)

I'll stick with the 1979 Ironhead Harley, it conveys me from place to place in style, and re-seals the driveway when I get home!

(That means it leaks oil)

Re:Scooter? (1)

ilovelinux (129476) | about 10 years ago | (#10346554)

is it possible to get a harley that doesn't leak oil? I mean, I don't think you had to explain the "resealing the driveway" joke!

Re:Scooter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346604)

Here's a scenario for you:

1. Thunderstruck posts a joke that no one gets, and doesn't explain it.

2. some AC complains, in inimitable /. style.

3. Thunderstruck posts an anonymous explanation, and slyly calls the complaintant a retard through a nerdy put down.

Re:Scooter? (1)

ilovelinux (129476) | about 10 years ago | (#10346705)

oh, what a clever "AC" that would be! Funniest thing I've read all night. Thanks.

btw I have nothing against harleys, it's just a common joke amongst my friends that ride.

Very important that it doesn't go fast (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 10 years ago | (#10346883)

Gives you more time to point and laught at the people at the gas station as they hand over their first born to pay for a full tank.

Re:Scooter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346941)

I stick with my 1981 Puch moped. Thank you very much.

I get 115 mpg, and it doesn't leak any oil whatsoever... Plus it's probably almost as fast as your ironhead.

Personally I'd buy a motorcycle, but no American company makes a decent bike anymore (less then 600 pounds, less then 5000 dollars, new. I don't want to buy a bike for a fasion statement or rescue a basket case.)

I'd get a japanese bike, but I just don't care that much right now. Probably will eventually.

No methane? (4, Insightful)

jarich (733129) | about 10 years ago | (#10346456)

I just assumed that whoever built a reall cool self-powered scooter would have a little methane in their somewhere... you know, for rainy days!

;)

Re:No methane? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346662)

Um, so you're looking for a scooter-builder who eats beans?? I don't get it.

Re:No methane? (1)

Nos. (179609) | about 10 years ago | (#10346850)

I love slasdot, a comment like powering the bike on methane gets modded insightful. To the mods, methane is the most common ingredient in your farts!

Re:No methane? (4, Funny)

euxneks (516538) | about 10 years ago | (#10346902)

Everyone has a little methane in their somewhere. =P

Add chicks (3, Interesting)

EtherAlchemist (789180) | about 10 years ago | (#10346458)


Everything is better with hot chicks, but somethings are just cool on their own [wheelman.com.au] .

Re:Add chicks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346500)

Q. What do a scooter and a fat chick have in common?

A. They're both fun to ride - but you wouldn't want your friends to see you on one!

Re:Add chicks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346634)

I know what I want for christmas

Re:Add chicks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346949)

"the more you squeeze, the more fun you have!"

Is this in regards to the model, or the model? :D

I find Slashdot's "quote" at the bottom offensive (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346459)

Dyslexics have more fnu.

Excuse me? Wouldn't that be "nuf"? As a joke, it fails.

Re:I find Slashdot's "quote" at the bottom offensi (1)

Gabrill (556503) | about 10 years ago | (#10346486)

Show what you know about lesdyxics.

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346592)

It would not be "nuf".

It would be "unj".

Deal.

Re:YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346637)

That's not how dyslexia works.

Re:I find Slashdot's "quote" at the bottom offensi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346797)

uoy era a toggaf

Bah (5, Funny)

Sophrosyne (630428) | about 10 years ago | (#10346461)

I will buy one when it runs on my cynicism and comes with an ipod holder.

Comic Book Guy (2, Funny)

div_B (781086) | about 10 years ago | (#10346658)

I will buy one when it runs on my cynicism and comes with an ipod holder.

CBG: A cynicism powered scooter? I really doubt that will ever-
[KA-BOOM!]

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346697)

You'd probably run out of cynicism as soon as you got out of your driveway...

Re:Bah (1)

ecloud (3022) | about 10 years ago | (#10346983)

I think that's infinitely improbable.

Does it come with. . . (5, Funny)

idesofmarch (730937) | about 10 years ago | (#10346462)

solar-powered headlights?

penguins...? (4, Funny)

DustyShadow (691635) | about 10 years ago | (#10346463)

why are there linux penguins on an msn page?

Re:penguins...? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346476)

Those aren't penguins, they're Microsoft's answer to AOL's "Oscar" icon. They're supposed to be people, but they look like a failed attempt at bringing eWorld's people back from the dead...

No, those aren't... (1)

Enucite (10192) | about 10 years ago | (#10346654)

But I think he was talking about the pictures [msn.com] of [msn.com] the penguins [msn.com] .

Re:penguins...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346704)

Because it's an MSN group, and the pictures were uploaded by the group admin? What the fuck are you, an idiot?

Re:penguins...? (1)

joelanders (743036) | about 10 years ago | (#10346726)

For the same reason there are windows banner ads on the linuxworld website...

are the cells homebrewed? (1)

ir0b0t (727703) | about 10 years ago | (#10346465)

there are two solar cell recipes in Simon Field's book (Electronic Gizmos). They only produce power in the milliamperes range. Are the cells are homemade or ordered from somewhere?

Re:are the cells homebrewed? (1)

mOoZik (698544) | about 10 years ago | (#10346545)

You can always hook up cells to get more amperage or voltage. I use cells that are roughly 40x40 mm and put out .5 volts at 500 ma, just about 1/4 watt. You can readily purchase the kind used on the NASA Pathfinder airplane, but they are expensive.

Re:are the cells homebrewed? (1)

ir0b0t (727703) | about 10 years ago | (#10346688)

Do you know anywhere with recipes for making your own? This site has some for fun. http://www.scitoys.com/ It would be cool to find examples of homemade cells that were used for larger applications, like the scooter.

Re:are the cells homebrewed? (1)

mOoZik (698544) | about 10 years ago | (#10346845)

SciToys is the only one I know of, unfortunately, but it surely cannot rival the efficiency of a commercial cell.

Like Fred Flintstone... (3, Funny)

bizpile (758055) | about 10 years ago | (#10346466)

Hopefully the engineering community will take an interest, and add brakes to the blueprints..."

If it's solar powered, maybe your feet will be enough to stop.

Re:Like Fred Flintstone... (1)

TWX (665546) | about 10 years ago | (#10346492)

It's more like, "It has to go before we need to worry about making it stop..."

asking the hard questions: (4, Funny)

tsch (593024) | about 10 years ago | (#10346469)

does insanity come with the scooter, or do you have to provide that yourself?

from their message board:

Well BioModers' - Yesterday we did it! - For the first time on Earth (as far as we know), a SOLAR ELECTRONIC VEHICLE traveled over 100 kilometers in one day - on the streets and roads of this planet!

... A Black family took offense at our efforts to hook up with a neighbors' socket after a deserted factories outlet had suspiciously failed. Earlier, an African electrician cab driver had examined the vehicle during a brief stop, and rushed away vibrating with revealed inspiration, a Chinese family as well. After a short hop, we got permission from a factory gardener to use his outlet, with a good sun exposure - and then the cops showed up! They claimed that someone had hopped over a nearby fence! But the rattled OIL OCCUPATION ARMY was no match for the assembled prayers of native circles meeting yesterday around the world!

...So there we were, in the gathering darkness, BLINDED by the oncoming lights of S.U.V.s', going the WRONG WAY down a one-way highway - right through the RED LIGHTS of major urban cross-highways, wiggling through and between oncoming traffic of the acursed MOTOR CARS and TRUCKS - to their complete SHOCK! ....I wouldn't have had it any other way! (emphasis mine) link to the post quoted [msn.com]

also, it looks like you have to log in to access the "files" part of their site.

Re:asking the hard questions: (1)

tsch (593024) | about 10 years ago | (#10346478)

OK, more good quotes:

....So anyway, all five sets of batteries "pooped out", at the foot of the final hill: so in one final act of improvisation, I placed Mary Chu on the THRONE OF LIGHT - TRAVEL (her first time, of course) - and told her to steer straight ahead!

....My thanks to Will, who accompanied the "voyage" on a 10-speed bicycle, waving down traffic at nearly every intersection, and nearly having heat-stroke as a result. Behavior over-and-above the call of duty! And of course to the millions of RAINBOW PEOPLE of the GREAT EARTH PEACE ARMY throughout the World - whose prayers in the great bosom of the universal deep-energy sustainer - bore us aloft for those crucial 100ks'.

now I feel cruel

Re:asking the hard questions: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346640)

excitable ... I just found a "Human Extinction Curve", based on raw data of increases in cancer rate since 1901 - it goes towards infinity (EVERYONE GETS CANCER) between 2010 and 2030!
Then I did one for Global Warming "GREENhouse Gas" data - and it turned out ALMOST THE SAME!
The I added one for INCREASE in CHEMICALS - and yep, same type of parabolic curve up towards infinity!
This got me very alarmed! It suggested I go back to that formula for "acceptable risk", I so harsely criticized several months ago.
There I found that I had neglected to add a TIME term to the general equation of many terms adding up to CERTAIN DEATH!
When I did this, what do you suppose resulted? THE SAME CURVE that I had found in the three cases!
Now I realized that I had an ABSTRACT FORMULA for the GENERAL AFFECTS of "acceptable risk" proceedures + patent applications + chemicals requesting entry into market + BioTech G.M.O. applications - in short CAPITALIST DEVELOPMENT!
So I went and published my results at Indymedia!
- Then I realized that for Ralph Nader to make a statement like "we must stop being consumers" - for the Pope at Christmas to make the statement "We must live as NATURALLY as possible" - THEY MUST OF HAD THIS FORMULA AT THEIR ELBOWS!
- After all; its' quite a simple one - with all those math people, SOMEONE must have found it before me? Its' PERSONAL MESSAGE is quite clear - don't buy anything & if you do, try to get as few ingredients as possible! (That way you DELETE terms from the Equation-i.e. postpone your death)
- So why don't they go on to say "STOP ALL DANGEROUS PRODUCTION!"???
- Maybe they are not READY to yet?

Re:asking the hard questions: (1)

contagious_d (807463) | about 10 years ago | (#10346923)

Forget the hat, this guy is going to build a tin foil bunker.

Re:asking the hard questions: (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about 10 years ago | (#10346768)

... A Black family took offense at our efforts to hook [the solar powered vehicle] up with a neighbors' socket after a deserted factories outlet had suspiciously failed.

So that's the type of "solar cell" they use. I would have never thought of it.

Re:asking the hard questions: (1)

Flakeloaf (321975) | about 10 years ago | (#10346839)

But the rattled OIL OCCUPATION ARMY was no match for the assembled prayers of native circles meeting yesterday around the world! ...So there we were, in the gathering darkness, BLINDED by the oncoming lights of S.U.V.s', going the WRONG WAY down a one-way

My god! Needless caps, bolding for no reason, semicoherent sentences... do you know what this means? This scooter is certified safe by none other than Steve Gibson!

Re:asking the hard questions: (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | about 10 years ago | (#10346935)

With the "Needless Caps", it sounds like the car is designed and promoted by Zippy the Pinhead. .. the MYSTERIANS are in here with my CORDUROY SOAP DISH!!

Why not just bike? (4, Insightful)

Dzimas (547818) | about 10 years ago | (#10346470)

Instead of a huge rickshaw-like contraption, perhaps a standard bicycle might be the answer? There are many available for less than $1600. This looks like a solution looking for a problem to solve. :)

Re:Why not just bike? (1)

The Islamic Fundamen (728413) | about 10 years ago | (#10346477)

Because Biking requires physical exurcion! Scootering requires no physical labour.

Re:Why not just bike? (3, Funny)

Thunderstruck (210399) | about 10 years ago | (#10346491)

These bikes you mention, I've seen some that are solar powered too, they use cool biotech drive mechanisms to convert solar energy to chemical energy... then they burn the chemical energy and give off nothing but CO2, water, sweat, and depending on the means used to covert the solar energy, methane.

Re:Why not just bike? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346607)

they have bikes that you pedal that sell for more than $1600. :)

Re:Why not just bike? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346682)

Yeah but what if you have a physical impairement that stops you from pedaling? Like say you have a bad knee or a twisted ankle. Or perhaps you need to go to a meeting 20km away, through a lot of hills, and you don't want to get there all sweaty. Or maybe you need to buy something a bit too heavy for you to drag back home on a regular bike.

It's all good to encourage cycling, but not at the expense of other lightweight modes of transportation. Everytime there is a mention of an alternative to cars, all you folks do is say "bike, bike, bike." But some people just can't bike or don't want to, and all you folks do is discourage them from looking at other stuff, leaving them with... cars. So in the end, you bike-nazis are just making cars stay here longer. In short, go to hell.

Re:Why not just bike? (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about 10 years ago | (#10346784)

Or a scooter. I saw some pretty nifty little scooter, kind of like a skateboard with a handle and a small motor. It is pretty fast and uses a *lot* less gas than an SUV and takes up much less space (on the road or in your garage).

Re:Why not just bike? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346971)

Are you talking about a Goped? http://www.goped.com/ [goped.com] I have one of those and they are very fun. Unfortunately they made them illiegal in my area. So I get yelled at by cops whenever they see me riding one.

More hippes... (0, Troll)

mOoZik (698544) | about 10 years ago | (#10346529)

...spreading their message. It's a poor quality build, can be made by anyone, even without those poorly-drawn plans. Highly impractical and only suited for pot-smoking hippies, like the guy who made that scooter. Why is this Slashdot material?

Bigot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346665)

Highly impractical and only suited for pot-smoking hippies,

I'll have you know some of us pot-smokers proactively trash the environment, you insentive clod!

Interesting Diversion but Totally Impractical (2, Insightful)

reporter (666905) | about 10 years ago | (#10346530)

The reality is that solar-powered transportation is totally impractical. Its sole purpose is to provide interesting material for the basis of a graduate disseration at the university.

If you really want to change the world, devise an efficient hydrogen-powered fuel cell. That would be practical and would change the automotive industrial and the dynamics of geopolitics. In one fell sweep, the hydogren cell would (1) clean the environment, (2) end American dependence on the Middle East, and (3) spark a renaissance in automotive engineering.

The Arabs could kill each other, and we could sit idly by, feeling smug in the fact that our economy is no longer based on oil.

neon case lights (2, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | about 10 years ago | (#10346671)

You may be able to replace oil with hydrogen for energy (a big maybe), but it's still used extensively in various manufactured products. That's a seriously overlooked part of the "peakoil" controversy.

With that said, and as a solar proponent and owner, and in the alpha design stages (that means I'm committed in me pea brane to do it) of my own little solar powered buggy*, this thing is ridiculous looking, and I agree, a normal human pedaled bike is a better idea. But... I'm not one to rain on any hardware geeks parade either, I hope they develop it further and make it more practical. There's a niche market for everything. Does anyone here remember the Armys "Land train"?

Niche markets

If anyone wants just an electric motor add on gizmo that fits most bikes, there's several on the market now, google is your friend there, much cheaper than 1600 clams, too. The one I saw a buddy had used a triangular flat battery pack that mounted in the frame of the bike, hung from the top tube really, it cleared your pedaling legs just fine being so slim, and the motor mounted over the real wheel and used a rubber wheel for a friction assist, and had a push button on switch on the handle bars. 15 minute or so installation, charge it, go. Had around a 5-10 mile range, but you still pedaled with it, it was more for hill climbing assist, hauling your groceries back, laundry, etc. If I could remember the name of the company I'd post it, but I know there's a variety out there, I looked before.

*nothing all that ambitious, merely an electric cart made from an old riding lawn mower frame I can use around the ole homestead here to haul a small work wagon with. Planning on using one of my panels as the vehicles roof so the majority of the time when it's just sitting it can keep the batts trickle charged. The goal is to do it with all scrounged parts, not spend anything except what I already have in my spare panel and some gear to go with it. Probably use a large truck starter motor as the main motive part as soon as I find one. This is the "no dollars" approach method.

Ya, I know, they make electric golf carts, the point is to recycle junk and make something practical out of it that I would actually use.

Re:Interesting Diversion but Totally Impractical (5, Insightful)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about 10 years ago | (#10346767)

How would an efficient hydrogen-powered fuel cell solve all our problems? Do you believe that an even more efficient (approaching 100%) internal combustion engine would solve all our problems? Yes, it'd mean we'd be using 1/4th as much gas as we do now which would head-off our dependency on Middle East oil for some time (possibly rather short, given we'd probably just expand our power desires with that increase efficiency).

But the truth of the matter is, oil isn't a renewable resource. Hydrogen isn't either (do you see any natural generators lying around?). Sun-based mechanisms might be the answer (a la the pig fart/methane of Mad Max). But, that's where the real "solution" begins. Even a rather utterly inefficient engine with a limitless fuel source (well, reasonably limitless) is better than very efficient engine with a limited fuel source, in the long run.

It sounds like you're just focusing on the short-term solution to get people interested in finding a long-term energy source. The thing is, without a cheap long-term energy source, the current inefficient engines and their cheap short-term source will continue to look more attractive. I think this counts as the cart before the horse.

Re:Interesting Diversion but Totally Impractical (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 years ago | (#10346851)

oil isn't a renewable resource. Hydrogen isn't either

Wahahahahaaaa

Be sure to let me know when we've run out of hydrogen! :-)

Are you retarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346825)

Seriously. Where are you going to get all of that Hydrogen? The only thing that this will change is to make auto accidents more dangerous.

Re:Interesting Diversion but Totally Impractical (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 years ago | (#10346882)

The reality is that solar-powered transportation is totally impractical.

A vehicle with solar as it's only source of power is impractical, indeed. However, as a method of recharging the batteries in an electric car, they would do quite a good job.

Just imagine less frequently used vehicles. If you only go, say, 10 miles per day, a solar panel on your car, recharging the batteries while it's sitting around, would be all you would need.

Run out of fuel in the middle of the desert? Don't bother walking to the next station, you can just kick back for a couple hours, and be able to drive again.

If you really want to change the world, devise an efficient hydrogen-powered fuel cell.

Or build your own atomic power plant in your back yard... Invent a method of cold fusion... Solve the mysteries of the universe... Create a perpetual motion device...

Suggestions like yours are just as stupid. People can't just come up with the solutions to the worlds problems. They can only work with what we've got available.

Personally, I have believed, from day 1, that fuel cells were the auto/oil indutries' red herring... Pick a technology that won't be practical for at least decades to come, and you can distract everyone from the fact that conventional electric cars are entirely feasable today.

The Arabs could kill each other, and we could sit idly by, feeling smug in the fact that our economy is no longer based on oil.

Obviously that is the eventual goal of all alternative fuels, but it'll take a lot to get there, and hydrogen is only one option, and the most infeasable one.

$1600 CDN? (1, Funny)

shiftless (410350) | about 10 years ago | (#10346534)

What is that, like $12.89 USD?

Re:$1600 CDN? (1)

shiftless (410350) | about 10 years ago | (#10346674)

0, Flamebait?? Come on guys, lighten up. :)

Re:$1600 CDN? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346780)

Maybe you got Canadian modpoints.

Score one for Michael (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346541)

Slashdot isn't what it used to be thanks to our editors :D - why the hell is this article on slashdot? WTF?

What I want (3, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 10 years ago | (#10346549)

I would like to have a little power module that attaches to my regular mountain bike. It would store energy when I'm pedalling, and when I tell it to it would release energy to help me get up a hill. I live in a hilly area, and most of the time I can ride without assistance. When I hit a hill, I could use some help.

As an alternative, the device could be charged at home all night. It wouldn't need too much capacity, since it would be just used to assist me on hills. I can pedal normally on flat road.

Re:What I want (1)

Judg3 (88435) | about 10 years ago | (#10346600)

Although it's a cool sounding idea, unless there's a big advance in motors, it's not very feasible.
For a 'hill assist' you'd need a lot of torque from a motor - and electric motors with a lot of torque don't come cheap, and they don't resemble anything small enough to put on a bike.

Very neat idea though - I bet it'll happen eventually!

Re:What I want (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 10 years ago | (#10346646)

Then I could get what I want by getting a really fast motor, and reducing the speed with gears, converting all that speed into torque.

Re:What I want (2, Informative)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | about 10 years ago | (#10346872)

You can get electric motors with plenty of torque hella cheap. It's the basis of most electric assist bike conversions. It's 2am and I dont feel like googling it for you, but take a look. There's plenty of commercial bikes that are for sale that have this sort of feature.

Also, I would be willing to bet that the starter from a small 4-cylinder car would provide the torque that you need for something like this. They run on 12v DC, and usually have an internal flywheel that spin up for a second before engaging the shaft so that you don't have a stall time while the motors output is balanced equally against the resistance on the shaft, causing it to just make a sad whirring sound and not actually doing anything.

On the downside of your plan, unless you deviced some craft gearing scheme, you would be petaling against the extra drag of the electric motor all the time (with the plus that you would generate a little electricity - not nearly as much as you are putting into it, tho). On the other hand, I wonder if the above mentioned starting motor might not solve that problem by disengaging the shaft from the motor while there's no juice being applied. If so, you would be just spinning the extra weight of a smallish gear and a short steel shaft... nto much in the grand scheme of things.

I should look into that... could make a cheap bike mod.

Re:What I want (1)

mduckworth (457088) | about 10 years ago | (#10346724)

Mmm.. bike I rode in japan on Miyajima island did this. It was a crazy experience.. It charged on an outlet and had a small battery and motor in the frame of the bike. It was heavier than most. I found myself using the motor all the time and going really fast and when I ran it dead the bike was awfully heavy ;-) But it DID take 2 hours to kill the battery!

Re:What I want (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10346743)

There are no "little" devices that would accomplish what you want. There are a variety of electric and gas kits that would help out. However, the added weight and cost of these devices makes them somewhat impractical. You would be better off getting yourself into better shape to climb hills.

http://www.electric-bikes.com/others.htm

You'll be glad to know such a thing exists (sorta) (3, Informative)

tsch (593024) | about 10 years ago | (#10346782)

...Well, there are quite a few "conversion [electric-bikes.com] kits" [wildernessenergy.com] out there, but because of the bulkiness of the batteries, I don't think they're quite practical for trail riding.

I don't know if I've seen anything that stores energy from pedaling (b/c when you're riding you really don't want something dragging on the wheel & slowing you up). There were some kits that, I think recharged during breaking, but from what I remember because of the light weight of bikes (?), the amount of energy gained from this wasn't too great.

Do check out electric-bikes.com, it's an interesting website. I actually purchased plans to make a Slipstream Electric Bicycle [econvergence.net] , but it's a bit too much for me in both the money and being-able-to-put-it-together dpts.

Re:What I want (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 years ago | (#10346816)

When I hit a hill, I could use some help.

And why is it that you can't down-shift? You said you're on a Mountain Bike.

You need very little strength, just the ability to move your legs around faster. It takes very very little energy if your bike is geared well.

Re:What I want (2, Informative)

toastyman (23954) | about 10 years ago | (#10346830)

Those already exist [electric-bikes.com] , kinda. They have regenerative breaking on some models to put power back in the battery when you hit the brakes when going down hill.

None of them actually store energy while you just pedal though, as far as I'm aware.

Re:What I want (1)

ahoehn (301327) | about 10 years ago | (#10346841)

Actually I remember reading about something similar in a Mountain Bike Action magazine about 4 or 5 years. It was the story of one of the magazine's editors who had been riding behind a pudgy out of shape professor type on some singletrack trails. Even though he seemed pudgy and out of shape, the editor was having trouble keeping up with him. Eventually he caught up, and noticed something funny about the professor's bike, and at the top of one of the hills, asked him about it.
It turns out that the professor's bike was outitted with a device that gathered energy when the breaks were applied and used it to compress air, and than when going up hills, that air could be released through a pneumatic pump to assist the rider.
The professor (who was indeed a professor), explained that the invention was the product of one of his student's graduate project, and asked the editor not to mention the device because the student was planning on marketing it commercially. The editor waited a few years, and when he saw no evidence of a product appearing, wrote the article.
As an avid mountain and road biker, this seems like a brilliant idea to me. I think of it often near the tops of particularly brutal hills. But somehow, I have yet to see one in my local bike shop.

Re:What I want (1)

ahoehn (301327) | about 10 years ago | (#10346849)

Sorry to reply to myself, but; something like you're looking for can be bought at http://www.wildernessenergy.com/unibikekit.html

Who needs brakes anyway...? (0)

Mulletproof (513805) | about 10 years ago | (#10346559)

"Hopefully the engineering community will take an interest, and add brakes to the blueprints..."

Brakes? Ah, we'll just leave that function to the clouds :D But seriously, who designs a scooter without brakes? i know we might be dealing with regenerative braking stuff, but why do we need an engineering community to go "Oh shit! Brakes!"

Braniac.

Cool site for girls?!!? (1)

sockonafish (228678) | about 10 years ago | (#10346583)

Am I the only one that thoroughly laughed at the "Cool site for girls" link at the bottom of their MSN Groups page?!

hmmm... (2, Funny)

GreenKiwi (221281) | about 10 years ago | (#10346611)

so that's like what, $100 usd?

So that's how much in US dollars? (2, Funny)

Jardine (398197) | about 10 years ago | (#10346618)

Jokes about how much $1600 CDN is in US dollars in 3...2...1

(it's about $1255 according to xe.com's currency converter)

Speed: The Slowmobile from Futurama (3, Funny)

Nova Express (100383) | about 10 years ago | (#10346633)

Why do I have the feeling that the speeds obtained by this solar scooter will rival those of the Slowmobile from the Bureaucracy ("How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back") episode of Futurama?

Bureaucrat: "Oh no, now you've got my slowmobile off course and I'm going to crash!"

Slowmobile moves very, very slowly into a pile of boxes over the next five seconds.

Bureaucrat (in mock fear): "Ahhhhhh."

Too slow (4, Funny)

Hash Browns (202534) | about 10 years ago | (#10346639)

At least with a gas powered scooter, you might be able to move fast enough to avoid getting beaten up.

BYO Power (0, Flamebait)

Schwing84 (782710) | about 10 years ago | (#10346648)

How bout a "natural gas" powered scooter. Although the requirement is to eat lots of mexican food.

For those of us in the States: (1)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | about 10 years ago | (#10346650)

How many cupholders does it have?

Ok I read this.. (1)

LeahofRivendell (797671) | about 10 years ago | (#10346687)

And It totally inspired me to build a fly-wheel powered scooter.

brakes? (1)

n08ody (162000) | about 10 years ago | (#10346690)

I don't need brakes you insensitive clod!

No good for me..... (1)

Fantasio (800086) | about 10 years ago | (#10346732)

Scully and his team believe Montreal is the place to start. They've already driven the scooter 280 kilometres through the city.

Unfortunately it's sure wasn't Montreal by-night

Um.... (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 10 years ago | (#10346770)

and if a big wind comes up, it doubles as a hang-glider

Slightly OT. (1, Offtopic)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 years ago | (#10346896)

Since the conversations about this scooter are going nowhere, I'd like to change the subject.

I was looking into electric cars not long ago, and all I found were vehicles that could go maybe 30 miles on a charge. I wonder if anyone can explain why this is.

Fully electric cars like the EV1 can get over 100 miles per charge, and it's a quite large and heavy vehicle. But most importantly, it wasn't very high voltage... That small change would easily have increased it's range tremendously.

Why is it that all the conversion kits, and home-built electric cars have terrible range? It doesn't take a genius to design a good setup. Are the parts just not available? Are good motors hard/impossible to find? Are high voltage, high current DC converters available?

Why aren't there any good designs out there yet?

...from the back of boys life... (1)

nilbog (732352) | about 10 years ago | (#10347015)

Build your own Solar Powered Hover Scooter! It only require 3 vaccum cleaner motors, a lawn chair, and some good old fashioned elbow grease! Call now for plans, only $5.99!!!
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