A light bulb's worth of energy to take father & son on cross country tour

100 watts of power power may not sound like much in the world of automobiles. Heck, a Nissan Leaf can churn out 80,000 watts, but that doesn't mean if it can't get you places. Pierce Hoover, an inventor and journalist wanted to teach his son about being energy conscious, and to show him that the power of just one light bulb can take you across the country.

The father and his 13 year old son, Nash, along with some help from a team of engineers, set out to build a two-seat human-electric hybrid vehicle. The final product, while not as aerodynamic and sleek as Hoover has originally envisioned, is very practical and contains a 1,400-watt hour battery (aka 1.4 kWh) and a 100-watt motor capable of propelling the small four-wheeler up to 25 miles per hour. The goal is to travel up to 60 miles per day using no more power than a 100 watt light bulb would over a day.

This cross-country journey, dubbed the Eco Tour, is sponsored by GE and Popular Science magazine. You can follow the team's 4,000-mile journey, which is already underway, at the Popular Science website here. For the first 200 miles, the father and son team averaged around 25 watt-hours per mile, which is below the original 35 watt-hour target, but that was before they got to the Appalachians. We wish them the best of luck as they begin to get to the hilly stuff.

[Source: Environmental Protection and Popular Science | Image: Chuck Coker – C.C. License 2.0]

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