Solar-Powered Scooter Update
A few months ago, we introduced you to Don Dunklee's DIY solar-powered scooter. In true Treehugger fashion Don installed folding solar panels onto his electric scooter to power itself in the sunny months. During these months, instead of plugging his scooter in, Don simply has to place it outside. Well, Don recently gave us an update on how the scooter has been holding up since we first wrote about it.
With Don approaching 1,000 solar-powered miles (he has 932 and counting), Don's scooter seems to still be going strong. In fact, it has been five months since Don last had to charge it. In those five months, Don has been driving his scooter almost every day going around 11 miles on the average day. By occasionally giving his scooter a day off, he is able to make sure that his scooter always has a charge.
You might think that all of this travel would increase maintenance on the scooter, but this is not the case. According to Don, "The only replacement has been the headlight bulb. Only maintainence [sic]
has been washing the dust off the panels, and replacing 2 rivets that
should have been bolts to begin with, and drops of oil on for the
occasional squeak of parts (normal on any bike)."
As you might expect, Don 's scooter gets quite a bit of attention. From the children who want a ride on the "spaceship" to adults who refer to it as the "blue butterfly", people around Don have grown accustomed to seeing his unique solar-powered scooter around their neighborhood. His neighbors should start getting used to Don's "blue butterfly" - it looks as if Don will be riding about town in his solar-powered scooter for years to come.