May 20, 2014 AT 1:30 am

Electric Scooter Turned Solar Powered Cycle


Man turns his scooter into solar powered cycle. by Dominic Muren via treehugger.com

We ‘huggers loves us some scooters. They’re gorgeous, efficient, and lot of them even go electric which opens up all kinds of alt-energy potential. Even so, most of us would probably end up charging our electric bikes with the garage power outlet. But not Don. In true Treehugger style, he’s converted his EVT 4000E into a mobile electric solar power station…Living for the past 20 years off the grid, Don is no stranger to rigging solar power systems. And with a need to commute to work every day, a solar electric scooter was a natural choice.

To pull off this feat, he installed two sets of folding panels that generate 120 watts in good sun. The bike’s batteries hold 2400 watt-hours, so a Michigan summer’s 9 hours of daily sun charges the battery about 1/2 full. Don estimates his ride uses only 25% of that. So, even with the occasional cloudy day (unfortunately, not uncommon in Michigan) doesn’t mean the bike is dead. But, just in case, the factory charging apparatus is still intact.

In order to ride, the panels fold in close to the body of the bike, and lock down. When charging, the panel’s symmetric layout reduces the possibility of tipping in the wind (though Don tells us he is considering adding parking outriggers to protect against this). He also plans to add a protective skin to the sides of the panels to protect against gravel on unpaved roads.

Charging is handled by a regulator stored under the seat, with room left to still store a small bag of work gear. While no speed demon, Don says it’s more than enough for his needs, and very reliable. His EVT 4000E has over 900 miles logged so far. When he’s not riding it in the winter, the bike gets plugged into his home to add extra power back into the system.

Quite an incredible job if you ask us. If only Ducati made an electric Monster 260… Ah, dreams.

Read more

Check out all the Circuit Playground Episodes! Our new kid’s show and subscribe!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground”Adafruit’s Apps!

Maker Business — TechShop is closed, files bankruptcy

Wearables — Don’t shy away from intricacy

Electronics — Are you grounded?

Biohacking — Learning to See with Sound

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.