Getting stuck in traffic sucks. You end up frustrated and late, and worst of all, you can’t workout! But your rush hour woes will soon come to an end if you’re willing to put the pedal to the metal and start cycling with the FitCar PPV.
The FitCar PPV is the brainchild of Saudi-based inventor, Nasser Al Shawaf, who, together with Dutch engineering partner, BPO, has developed the world’s first calorie-burning car.
The FitCar PPV prototype #2 is based on a standard 2-litre petrol auto Audi A4 Avant, with the throttle replaced by a bicycle pedal mechanism and mated to a flywheel, which generates an electronic pulse to engage the accelerator. The car is powered as normal, delivering manufacturer-specification performance and economy, but governed by an active pedalling motion instead of the conventional depressing of the accelerator.
To make space for the bicycle-and-flywheel mechanism, the brake pedal has been replaced with a simple off-the-shelf “push hand control” conversion as used in motability vehicles.
There are three simple settings to the FitCar PPV system – ‘Drive Slow’, when in slow moving traffic; ‘Drive Fast’ for highway speeds; and ‘No Drive’ for when stuck in stationary traffic but with the ability to continue exercising by using the pedals. There is also a simple rotary dial on the pedals to adjust the resistance, depending on what sort of a pedal workout is required – from easy to difficult.
FitCar PPV is patented internationally, and is awaiting approval in the Netherlands for road use across Europe.
Commenting on the project, Nasser Al Shawaf said: “I work in many cities around the world where a 60-minute-plus car commute, each way, each day is not uncommon. This is an unhealthy way to waste more than two hours every day. So, I came up with the idea of the FitCar, which does exactly the same as any conventional car, getting us safely and comfortably from A to B, however in the FitCar, you can exercise while you drive.”
He added: Our studies suggest a calorie burn-rate of more than 300 per 30 minutes. We are increasingly time-poor, and unfit, the FitCar PPV provides at least part of the solution to these two problems for those of us wishing to exercise more but without the time to do it.”