Today, most of us rely on motorized vehicles to reach work, school, and other places on a daily basis. But, before the advent of such vehicles, people mostly commuted in animal-pulled carts or human-powered rides. While animal-pulled vehicles have mostly become outdated in many places, human-powered vehicles continue to stay relevant and evolve with time.
From bicycles to skateboards, there is a plethora of popular transport options that work on manual input. Simultaneously, inventors are also testing and implementing clever ideas for human-powered vehicles.
Some of these innovative manual vehicles can go toe-to-toe with motorized ones when it comes to performance. Here’s a compilation of the world’s most ingenious vehicles powered by humans.
These human-powered vehicles are out of this world
1. Aerovelo Eta Speedbike
Traveling at an astonishing speed of 144.17kmph, Aerovelo Eta Speedbike is the fastest human-powered vehicle in the world. It first earned this honor back in 2015 and has broken its own record on four different occasions since then. The bike is extremely light at just 25kg and uses ultra-thin 650c clincher tires to achieve high speed. Furthermore, its operation involves a single user pedaling inside the wet lay carbon fiber-made capsule.
2. Archaeopteryx hang glider
The Archaeopteryx hang glider is a combination of a hang glider and a sailplane. Its working revolves around the pilot running down a slope to gain altitude and then controlling the glider using sailplane-like controls in the cockpit. When landing back on the ground, you can either use the vehicle’s wheels or use your legs. For those who aren’t interested in such manual effort, there’s also an electric variant.
3. Scubster Nemo
This human-powered aquatic vehicle is called Scubster Nemo. It is a wet sub or an underwater vehicle that exposes its user to the surrounding environment. The submarine is a highly maneuverable vehicle powered by manual pedals. It also has an automatic variant called Scubster Pub, which uses batteries to run. The Nemo can fit up to two persons, measures 3m long, and weighs 30kg.
4. Qlio Velo
Qlio Velo is a quadricycle equipped with electric assist. It features a pedal-powered AC generator that allows it to convert pedaling into electric energy. Besides standard pedaling, this vehicle can also use electric assist pedaling to move around and can fit up to 2 people. Moreover, its fastest speed is around 25kmph, and it has a range of 120km. This vehicle packs safety specs, including 2 seat belts, an alarm system, a handbrake option, etc.
5. Shweeb Racer
This human-powered pod is less of an actual vehicle and more of a recreational ride. Based in New Zealand, the Shweeb Racer is a monorail racetrack for aerodynamic, pedal-powered pods. Amusingly, you can race others in this pod, which is 2m above the ground and runs on a 200m track.
6. Elf Solo
Elf Solo is an elegant tricycle that looks like a futuristic vehicle. It’s a solar electric assist vehicle that you can pedal to drive around. For its solar and electric capabilities, it packs a 100W solar panel and 48V lithium-ion battery, respectively. Also, the vehicle has two different size variants, Solo and 2FR. While the Solo only has space for a single person and some cargo, the 2FR can fit an additional person.
By the way, which human-powered vehicle did you find the most impressive? Tell us in the comments below. While you’re here, check out these unique bicycles that look anything but normal.