Ben Vander Heiden, a sixth-grade teacher at Woodbridge Elementary School in California, likes to include lessons about solar power and renewable energies into his science lessons. His most recent pet project: A solar-powered tricycle he assembled for less than $500 out of bike scraps and two solar panels donated by the Bay Area's Solar Institute.
Powered by a 600-watt motor, the three-wheeler can reach speeds of up to 17mph. And if the batteries short out, well, the pedals are always there for backup. With the rise in gas prices, Vander Heiden's wife, Renee, is the one who rides her husband's invention every day from their south Lodi home to her office about two miles away. "I get a lot of thumbs up on the road," The Record quotes her as saying.
Dying to put-put across town in your own sun-worshipping steed? Instructables has a tutorial on building your own solar-powered trike. ::The Record
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