Automotive

Antro SOLO human-electric-hybrid aims for double the fun

The SOLO prototype on the road - sure to attract attention
The SOLO prototype on the road - sure to attract attention
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The SOLO prototype on the road - sure to attract attention
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The SOLO prototype on the road - sure to attract attention
The team hopes that the lightweight construction and unique design will help achieve 150mpg fuel efficiency when a fuel motor is added
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The team hopes that the lightweight construction and unique design will help achieve 150mpg fuel efficiency when a fuel motor is added
Driver and both passengers can manually power the vehicle via pedals in front of them
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Driver and both passengers can manually power the vehicle via pedals in front of them
Photovoltaic cells in the roof provide power for electric propulsion
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Photovoltaic cells in the roof provide power for electric propulsion
Comfortably seats three people, the driver in the middle
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Comfortably seats three people, the driver in the middle

Hungarian designers Antro are aiming to introduce a new fuel efficient vehicle to the consumer market by 2012 which (like the recently covered HumanCar) will rely on the muscle-power of driver and passengers as well as a hybrid fuel/electric engine. The designers are also looking to have the three-seater SOLO link up to another to make one vehicle capable of carrying six people.

As more opportunities arise to accumulate wealth in the East, more and more people are being given the chance to own cars which will only add to the world's environmental problems. In order to nip such problems in the bud, Antro has suggested a fuel-efficient three seater where the driver is flanked on either side by a passenger and all three would join forces to propel the SOLO Light using pedals in front of them.

Antro's prototype has been built using a light magnesium alloy/carbon fiber frame and body construction and features electric assist for when the occupants tire or the driver is alone. Photovoltaic cells incorporated in the roof provide the power for the electric hub motors at each wheel and although the current model doesn't have one yet, the designers are aiming to install a fuel engine to give a longer range than the 12 miles or so that the electric motors currently provide. It is intended that the fuel engine will achieve fuel efficiency in the region of 150 miles to the gallon and reach speeds of around 87mph.

SOLO to DUO

Part of the design brief is to make the SOLO modular so that it can be linked to another vehicle to form a six-seater, making the family car that bit more interesting. Antro hasn't made the actual process clear but if the designers can pull it off then having one vehicle capable of splitting into two when required should prove a useful economy and may even serve to help towards lessening inner city congestion.

Of course there might be a problem on a bright, warm sunny day when driver and passengers are in full pelt on the pedals - the large transparent surface area, even if its tinted, would no doubt turn the inside into something of a sweat-box. Incorporating a powerful air conditioning system could make the internal atmosphere a tad more pleasant but at the expense of some of that impressive fuel efficiency no doubt.

The company is also in the process of developing a fuel-efficient, motor and pedal-powered hybird scooter named MOVEO. While patent details are sorted out details are sparse but Antro told Gizmag that it is currently working on the third prototype. We'll keep you informed.

11 comments
Facebook User
The design is really inspiring! Way to go in the realm of human-electric transportation. Expect to see more from these folks. If only somebody could come up with a way to cool the vehicle without the use of energy-hungry air-conditioners, then that would really be the deal clincher for this concept, but this is the proverbial holy grail for anybody working on pedal powered vehicles. Couldn\'t wait for further developments on this front.
yrag
Hmm , , , not so sure about this. It looks cool, but at least in the US and I\'m sure Europe as well, a vehicle of that size requires front and rear lights and external rear view mirrors, plus it\'s too wide (I don\'t know it\'s speed) to join regular traffic. With four wheels it also won\'t qualify as a motorcycle. A narrow bicycle even a enclosed one allows cars to usually pass it thus is subject to more relax traffic laws. Developing countries might be more forgiving on the points I made above, but as Mohammad briefly hints at in his comment, cooling that enclosed cockpit while the sun beats down, especially in hotter climates is a VERY serious issue. Sorry to be a downer, but those are the challenges Antro, and any would be innovator must address. I wish them all the best.
Todd Dunning
Another retrograde backward leap by eco-kooks intent on reducing quality of life by lowering standards. The basic reasons for progress; like the wheel, the lever, the inclined plane - are to enable man to do more with less. But trendy eco-hippies want to us just to do less and be happy about it. Keep us all down and then nobody will be jealous. We all know the reasons this design will never see the light of day. But that\'s not what this design is about. It\'s about feelgood self-deprivation that helps to relieve our guilt for being a successful civilization.
letmethinkaboutthis
Todd Dunning, a successful civilization you say ? well, i wish to continue the successful civilization thing. Instead of being stuck in the triumphant \"we have conquered the world\" attitude of the 1950\'s, many people have realised that we must continue to move onwards, so they look to the future and consider where shall we go next. they establish environmentally friendly alternatives to known polluting technologies - very civilised of them. Intellectually superior to those who drool at constant TV, being brainwashed by Fox News and the like. the less civilised wish to keep the hummers and coal-fired power stations, and to fish the last life out of the oceans. these are less civilised folks, and generally they do not wish to be told that. i like the idea of keeping fit while in a cool new environmentally friendly vehicle.. Looks like we are not on the same page.
Will, the tink
They do say that they are working on a scooter as well. Let\'s see if that is at least a semi-covered vehicle and if so, more to the single or double occupant size that would appeal to the younger, more energetic bunch. The cg on this current model has got to be fantastic though. Anyone who has worked on their own vehicle body would have to appreciate that. As another commentor mentioned, setting this vehicle up as a 3-wheeler seems more appropriate though and would lessen the rolling resistance. The mention of the addition of a frugal fuel-engine would round this vehicle out giving it the ability to travel further as well as being able to keep up with traffic when needed. That would make it a tri-brid with solar if I\'m not mistaking which could be registered in the US as a motorcycle. Lets wait and see what they come up with. It could be prety neat!
voluntaryist
A deficient article. The two important fundamental criteria are missing. What are the drag co-efficient and curb weight? Otherwise it looks like they are on the right track. Contrast the Solo to the converted golf carts the gov is subsidizing. It would funny if we were not paying for idiotic schemes dreamed up by bureaucrats. Take the gov out of it and the market will sort out the Hummers from the Solos. It does not have to be either/or. Level the playing field by removing ALL energy subsidies.
Todd Dunning
letmethinkaboutthis: You wish to continue the civilization thing? Great! Glad you\'re taking the lead. We\'ll wait for you while you pedal up to us.
jerryd
Todd, The car won\'t make it because it\'s too low and glass area means it can\'t be used in the southern US. With humans only making 1/10hp steady it\'s far cheaper, better, less smelly later to always drive EV. To pedal something that large, heavy is not going to work. I drive lightweight EV\'s every day at 25% of the cost of an ICE version. Real conservatives would too for national and economic security.
Mr Stiffy
Hmmmmmmmmmm 2 words 2 terms = \"Solar oven\" \"On Wheels\"
waltinseattle
Mohammad, there is such a system and it is ancient. Its called swamp cooler. Air, moving air that is, through a wet fabric and all the energy costs is a little resistance, added to what should be an already very sweet Cd. JerryD, I agree its too dmn low. HumanHybrids should be as high as the cars they expect to mix with. Oh, please. Lets leave off the solar cells! we live in a real world with issues like what Todd throws in the faces of the freaks among us (yep, we got em!!!) BTW, Todd, were not all what you think here. I used to sport a sticker...\"keep honking, I\'m reloading\" I no longer \"advertise. But I am working to replace cars with a ride inside trike, so that when oil is really expensive we don\'t all need to use horses hooked up the the 64 mustang to get around,\'round, get around. Anyone interested in doing not talking only is invited to get in contact via waltinseattle@gmail.com. I\'m kinda ignoring the website (LKH2.com) these days since a bad experience with a 3rd world service provider right here in the USof A. I pledge no carbon and no Chineese body, one nix. either. Made in America by deserving neighbors..
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