Welcome to the future. That's HumanCar Inc's slogan for its line of unconventional transportation, and they've got faith that it's accurate. These human-powered cars bring new meaning to the phrase "row-your-own". In this case though, we're not talking about shifting gears, you literally have to row these soapbox-derby-cars-on-steroids to get them going. Before you read any farther, check out the video below and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Got it? Yeah, it's human powered alright. Although the concept has been in the works for a while, the company is now taking reservations for the 2011 Imagine PS PHEV - a purely human powered car. A $50 deposit is required to reserve one, and the price to own one is $15,500.
It may look like a row boat on bike wheels, but there's a bit more to it. The charging mechanism is still a mystery to me, but suffice it to say this is a true zero emissions vehicle. That is, if you don't count the CO2 coming from the operator as he gasps for breath after some vigorous rowing. The company boasts some "real car" features that one might not expect, judging by appearance alone. The Imagine is equipped with a full suspension, and supposedly handles and corners quite nicely.
The HumanCar is said to be capable of up to 60mph with enough muscle (and I'm not talking horsepower here). I'm thinking 60mph is going to be pretty scary in that, and by the looks of it, not too comfortable. Those seats look about as luxurious as a canoe, and a lack of windshield means you'll probably be picking bugs out of your teeth when you're finished cruising. Doubts aside, it's a pretty cool idea, and should soon be a reality. I'm sure it's an absolute blast to take down a long, winding hill. Just don't roll it over...