Solar Human Hybrid Vehicle
The Solar Human Hybrid is a street-legal quadricycle with a solar-powered electric motor to help you along, room for three friends to join you in the fun and even a spot for groceries and your dog. Best of all, it was built by an eighth-grader who’s willing to show you how to make one yourself.
Fourteen-year-old David Dixon of Novato, Calif., built the Solar Human Hybrid (SOHH) for a middle school project. He started with a ZEM (Zero Emission Machine), a four-person quadricycle built in Sweden Switzerland. He and his father David Dixon Sr. added some solar panels and an electric motor and - voila! - a solar-human hybrid.
“[The SOHH] has replaced our cars for errands around town, and it has grown into more than we envisioned with a lot of interest from the community,” David Dixon Sr. told Wired.com.
The vehicle’s 24-volt motor is good for 1 horsepower and an electronically limited top speed of 14 mph. Power comes from GreenSaver Silicone Gel Cell batteries fed by 20-watt solar panels. The batteries also run the vehicle’s iPod dock - gotta have tunes - GPS unit and the lights.
“We went with a relatively small motor because our priority was to keep good pedaling performance, and only have electric assist. This has allowed us to keep the battery weight down and keep the solar panels a reasonable size,” Dixon said.
“Consequently we geared it to not exceed 18 mph under power. This did not give us enough torque for the hills with a load though, so we have re-geared it for about 12 to 14 mph, and it now zips along nicely.”
The slick runabout cost a hefty $6,400 to build, but most of that can be attributed to the cost of the ZEM. It was picked up for $3,900 from a dealer in Maryland who bought the last three from the US distributor after ZEM went out of business.
The Dixons rolled the Solar Human Hybrid into Maker Faire last week. They don’t plan to mass produce the vehicle but would love it if someone else does. Just about everything anyone would need to know if they wanted to build one is available on the Dixon’s website.
“We tried to clearly document the SOHH project on our website, including the schematic and parts list, as an open source project to inspire others,” David Dixon said.
See more details at David web site: http://web.me.com/dgdixon/SOHH_Project/Welcome.html
Click the thumbnails below to view enlarged version of the pictures.