A green ride across the United States


Eco Factor: A zero-emission ride in a wagon pulled by real horses.

Some people really love to be driven by their passions. Bob Skelding's passion ended up with a real horse-powered ride across America. He started his travels from Deerfield, New Hampshire, in a wagon-home pulled by four Percheron horses. To generate electricity, he installed PV panels on the roof. That provides about 12-volt and 120-volt power, and means a complete zero-emissions tour.


In this 7 1/2 feet wide and 16-foot-long structure, he included almost every modern convenience, such as a full size bed, bathroom with shower and commode, a kitchen area with stove, refrigerator and sink and a small kitchen table. The wagon was deigned to have a light weight to make it easier to pull. His purpose was to fulfill his passion for traveling to different parts of the country and meet new people.


The Dark Side: If I am asked to write about the dark side in this amazing ride, I cannot not find anything wrong, except the propane gas that Bob used for heating and cooking. However, that can be ignored.

Via: WagonTeamster


Aeolus Airship – Aerodynamic helium-powered air-vehicle

Eco Factor: Aerodynamic airship, being pedal-powered, uses non-toxic helium.

The scarcity of conventional fuels will definitely lead humans to practice and devise unusual means of transportation. It's but obvious; they may look forward to elemental alternatives, such as wind, sun and so on. What about an aerial mode of transportation that asks for manual labor? The Aeolus Airship, designed by Christopher Ottersbach, is one such mid-air transportation medium. This airship is named after Greek wind god Aeolus. The not-so-futuristic design is perfectly eco-friendly.

Having aerodynamic looks, this space ship (well, not literally) can carry two to four people on an above-ground journey for two weeks. Yeah, it's true! This sustainable vehicle draws energy from helium that allows the spaceship to glide. The crew members do get a great workout in propelling as well as pedaling the engine. Contributing to the environment via physical labor is definitely a good idea!
The Dark Side:
This concept, if ever comes into existence, would certainly make voyages much safer and eco-friendly. But, as a matter of fact, such concepts usually disappear as fast as they are conceived.

Via: Treehugger


Hurricane – Recyclable frame makes it eco-friendly


Eco Factor: Solar-powered eco-friendly concept car with a typical recyclable frame.

Seoul National University of Technology designers, Hoyoung Jo, Jinseok Song and Kyuwon Kim, created this wonderful concept car for the 2009 Michelin Challenge Design competition. Dubbed the Hurricane, this concept car does provide a peep into futuristic transportation. Nature being the guiding force in fabricating this amazing auto, this car has come up to be sensibly eco-friendly. A series of solar panels facing the seating area powers the car engine. The chassis envelops the driver inside. What's evermore interesting is the fact that up to 90% of the frame is fully recyclable. Well, have a look on these superb images after the jump:

The Dark Side: The engine's power, car speed and energy requirements are not defined. With the present electric engine, creating a practical vehicle that can provide a speedy and sporty ride doesn't seem to be that feasible.





Via: Diseno-art


Eco Transportation: Manta Craft provides the stability of a jet ski and the thrill of a surfboard


Eco Factor: The water craft runs on a solar/electric jet drive setup.

Designer Casey Reeve's new concept provides a combined dynamic experience of a jet ski and a surfboard. He has named his concept the "Manta Craft." With safety and comfort, this craft lets the user be in close contact with the water. The handles on this conceptual machine are Y shaped and easy to grip so that user can choose his direction without any complexity and confusion. What allured me most is it's ecofriendliness. An solar-powered electric engine ensures performance with zero emissions and also keeps the user from having to refuel. The user can seat himself on a cautiously designed seating arrangement. A solar/electric jet drive setup is one more advantageous feature that includes four elements: a jet drive, the electric motor, the lithium-ion batteries and the solar panel.


The Dark Side:

The machine is quite a cool concept, but an electric engine will require electricity to run and depending for that on solar panels doesn't sound practical. It's quite hard to expect speedy and sporty performance from an electric engine. Furthermore, speed, electricity requirements and the capacity of PVs are not defined.

Via: Tuvie


Eco Transportation: Mobi-Cell can reduce traffic problems with zero emission


Eco Factor: Urban transportation cell with zero emission motor.

For future urban environment where traffic is going to be a headache, the "Mobi-Cell" will provide a simple solution for transporting goods. Many small automated vehicles will be used as an integrated system to transport goods while using other public transportation systems such as the tube, city trains and public lifts. The electric engine will provide the necessary power to move and will recharge itself on reaching logistics centers or wherever it is intended to deliver goods.


The Mobi-Cell is compatible even with the present city structures and can effectively operate without much change in design or mechanism. Along with providing zero emission transportation, it can reduce traffic problems due to its small and compact size.

The Dark Side: The concept is limited to transportation of small goods only. It can't replace big trucks and lorries when it comes to carrying heavy and large objects.

Via: Mendelheit


NTF 2010 - Clean transportation concept for Chinese urban cities


Eco Factor:
Concept bus designed to run on hydrogen and electricity.

The increase in population means more need for transportation mediums, and that will result in a large number of cars and extra energy consumption. With the largest population, China must be the most worried country about the increasing need for energy sources. Along with emission problem, the traffic problem will make it more complex to deal with urban conditions. Therefore, Chinese cities are looking for some clean and high efficiency transportation mediums. The natural transportation force (NTF) concept design might provide some help in solving all problems discussed above. NFT borrows its design from the Chinese Gallery Bridge that will be a sort of mobile public place where people would be able to communicate and share their feelings with each other.


Even the headlamps shows glimpses of the writing style of Chinese fine handwriting. Through large windows, passengers can enjoy sightseeing. But the most important advantage of this bus is that it uses eco-friendly hydrogen fuel and electricity for power. The concept is designed for the urban environment of 2010 and may possibly arrive by its planned period.


The Dark Side: The NTF is aquite interesting and an ethical concept. It will definitely be advantageous for the Chinese urban society if it ever came into existence. Furthermore, self-sufficiency can be enhanced by including PVs.


Designer: Xiao-Fang Shen


Organik Motion Bike offers clean transportation

Eco Factor: Pedal-powered bike system provides clean transportation.

Organik Motion bike delivers high-performance in perfect communion with a great design. The Z-frame concept, sporting a fully integrated braking system, integrated front and rear suspension systems and an integrated shaft drive, makes it an eco-friendly mode of transportation. Also, the user can adjust the saddle and handlebars.

If you hunt for technological innovation, you'll find a joystick-mounted gear and break lever system to ensure better control. What attracts me most is a static inner wheel system with integrated reflectors and a hind light. This cool bike, thus, shows signs of ergonomics creeping into the realms of mechanical transportation.
The Dark Side:
It can't be used for long-distance expeditions surely. If it's heading for the younger generation, then I'm a bit apprehensive about its acceptability. Being pedal-powered, this bike might not meet the pace of modern electric-bikes.

Via: Tuvie

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Phoenix concept car for American urban environment


Eco Factor: A concept car designed to run on a Flexi-Fuel V8 engine and is made up of recycled aluminum.

Future transportation concepts give the world hopes to deliver eco-friendly vehicles that will be far better both in technology and looks. However, all this exists conceptually and we are still not near any such technology that could provide high-speed sporty vehicles with zero emission electric engines. Phoenix is another such conceptual design for American urban life. This machine is in itself a try to blend freedom, strength, and flexibility, with a special concern to our gradually deteriorating environment. Design seems to be inspired from American muscle cars and pick-up trucks. This two-seater car derives power from Flexi-Fuel V8 engine. Not only engine but the bio-composite material and recycled aluminum used in body are other important aspects that make it soft toward the environment.


The tough and agile design incorporates a safety cell made from reinforced bio-polymers with roll-bars behind each seat to provide additional protection. An Orbital Omni-directional four-wheel-drive system makes it capable of rotating around its own axis and sideways. All this sounds fantastic and do go with its name that is inspired by an ancient mythical bird, except that it can't fly.

The Dark Side: Talking practically, it seems very hard to put the Phoenix on concrete road. Everything is good enough for American urban living style, but only in concept.

Designer: David Goncalves & Niels Iversen


Tailwind – eBike having fastest-charging battery


Eco Factor: Fastest charging battery recharges itself through plug n' drive rear rack.

Schwinn introduced this so-called eBike hybrid, dubbed the Tailwind, at CES 2009. This bike earns the reputation of having the fastest charging battery. Most definitely, it represents the next generation of eBikes. Toshiba's SCiB power technology facilitates the Tailwind to recharge itself in 30 minutes through a standard electrical outlet. The presence of the Plug N' Drive removable battery pack in rear bike rack systems facilitates speedy detachment of a 24V battery for recharging. Well, there's also an option to revive the fading lithium-ion battery in five to seven minutes via a commercial charger. Its 250-watt motor is located in the front wheel hub. The Schwinn-designed 6000 series aluminum alloy frame and an SR Suntour NEX-4610 suspension fork with lock-out support the Tailwind to have eight speeds for 2000 cycles/recharge.

The Dark Side: It's undeniably good news for those who can compromise with speed and time. Storage capacity isn't defined. Thus, it's but obvious, that it doesn't seem suitable for long journeys.

Via: Aving


Cherry - Next-gen zero emission concept


Eco Factor: Portable concept vehicle runs on zero emission electric motors.

Like its name, Cherry, the concept is compact and portable. Hundreds of concept designs have flooded the market with foldable and compact features. However, the possibility of touching real roads seems very hard for most of them. Cherry is also foldable and eco-friendly as well. Powered by a zero emission electric motor with a plug-in battery, it might become the next-gen transportation medium. The battery is integrated with a padded seat that keeps it hidden. The direction controller is similar to that of a motorcycle and can be controlled by leaning.


To reduce the space and size, the whole engine is located inside the front wheel. You can also customize it with adjustable driving positions. The brakes lie below the rest provided for your arms. Well, the concept looks cool, but designer Alican Yilmaz should consider the design again. It doesn't looks adorable.


The Dark Side: Some parts, like the wheel cover, include plastic that is no doubt hard on the environment. Moreover, information about the speed, battery back-up and electricity required for operation is not defined.


Via: YankoDesign


Reconnoitre – Hybrid car assures better mileage with a lightweight body


Eco Factor: Hybrid car with a carbon fiber body.

When it comes to cars, lightweight is the key to better fuel economy. The ever rising prices of fuel and the demand to go green have tempted designers to develop cars that are light in weight and reduce the use of fossil fuels to a minimum. Reconnoitre is one such car that utilizes its carbon fiber body to get the most out of the precious drops of fuel burning in its diesel-electric reverse hybrid engine.


The car has been designed for the city of Boston, where parking a luxury sedan can prove to be a nuisance. The hatchback design of the car reduces the amount of boot space but makes sure that the car can easily be driven on congested roads. Reconnoitre comes with a hybrid engine that uses lithium-manganese spinel batteries that last over 40 years before needing a replacement. The car has can fit four people with a fold flat rear bench. Apart from a carbon-fiber body the car is designed to have a height adjusting suspension system that promises a comfortable ride on all road conditions.


The Dark Side:

The carbon-fiber body will result in better mileage. However, adding the cost of carbon-fiber and lithium batteries to the already expensive diesel engine, the car would be out of reach of most people who would otherwise love to go green.

Via: Local-Motors