Now that it’s clear that the flying cars we were promised as youngsters are not going to appear anytime soon, we can perhaps take comfort in the arrival of the brilliant HEPAV 1.1, a human-electric powered amphibious vehicle from the creative mind of Czech designer and inventor David Buchwaldek. Like an eco-superhero’s signature ride, the HEPAV 1.1 can travel the streets in style and drive straight into the water without missing a beat. Sustainable, human-powered locomotion never looked so good.
How does it work? Simply put, the HEPAV 1.1 is a recumbent tricycle with electric assist and a buoyant shell that allows riders to drive directly into and out of ponds, rivers and lakes. Inventor David Buchwaldek says he designed the HEPAV 1.1 to be like a kayak in that it can be transported by vehicle but ridden directly into the water. Video proves the viability of Buchwaldek’s design, but it remains unclear how practical it is. The HEPAV 1.1 seems pretty slow in the water at this point.
Unfortunately, the HEPAV 1.1 is still far too expensive to build to be commercially viable, but that may not be the point of the vehicle. Buchwaldek’s process and thinking is enlightening in itself and worth a trip to his website, esoteric-david.eu. Among other projects documented there are a human-powered airplane, an innovative bike rack available for purchase, and appropriately ‘esoteric’ advice like Life Tips and Tricks #25. “Progress is the realization of utopias.”