For some, commuting to work by bicycle can be a drag. There is the preparation time required to kit up, packing lunch, packing clothes and the motivation factor. Sure, you may be the type who is organized and carted the week’s clothes into work last Friday, but swinging a leg over the top tube when the temperature is below 32º Fahrenheit isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And, there’s the complication of lugging around a laptop or running errands during a lunchbreak.
However, for those who like to commute to work by bicycle, but are looking for similar benefits offered by an automobile, there may be a solution for you, RAHT Racer; Recumbent-Automotive-Human-Transport. It takes pedal power to a whole new level…
RAHT Racer is a three wheeled, fully enclosed, weatherproof vehicle, complete with roll cage, suspension, seat belts, air bags, headlights and trunk space. Where the RAHT racer differs from most other alternative energy vehicles, is the rider provides pedal power, which is converted to electrical energy via the vehicle’s patent pending hybrid flywheel generator technology.
RAHT’s pedals are directly connected to its generator, not the wheels, meaning all human power effectively extends the vehicle’s range and recharges the battery. At the same time, state of the art hybrid technology in RAHT amplifies pedal power, enabling the rider’s legs to propel the vehicle up to highway speeds. Alternatively, if the rider is feeling lethargic, all electric drive is available at the press of a throttle button. A regular household power outlet provides a full charge to the vehicle’s battery.
The RAHT is more than just an alternative method transportation. Rather than sitting idle in traffic, you could kill a little wait time, and simulate a short climb. The on board computer can run workout programs, and display rider performance information such as power generated, range extension, calories burned, etc. GPS terrain sensors inform the vehicle if a hill is being climbed or descended, and adjusts pedal resistance accordingly, mimicking the feel of a regular bicycle.
- Top speed of approximately 100 MPH / 160 KM/Hr.
- Range of approximately 50 miles / 80 kilometers.
- Regenerative disc brakes at all three wheels.
- Electric engine power rated at 26.8 HP / 20KW.
- Li-on battery, rated at 9.2KWH.
- Two seats, only the front seating position provides pedal power.
- Curb weight of 570lbs / 258.5kgs.
- Expected MSRP between US $35,000US and US $45,000.
The State of Minnesota provided company CEO Rick Kronfield with a grant to build the first RAHT prototype. Rick and his team are looking to continue development with the next version of RAHT with the help of Kickstarter. Planned changes in RAHT 2.0 include improvements to the chassis, drivetrain, safety systems, and tweaks to the aerodynamic body structure.