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Student Refits $50 Motorcycle To Run On Solar Power
With cars being designed to run on electricity and biofuel, it’s only fair that motorcycles are similarly retrofitted for renewable forms of energy. With that in mind, a student at Purdue University has converted an old 1978 Suzuki to run on solar energy and to emit zero emissions. Said student, the awesomely named Tony Danger Coiro bought the motorcycle for $50 and spent $2,500 redesigning and retrofitting the bike to run on sun. With the new modifications, the bike now has a range of 24 miles and a top speed of 45 miles per hour compared to a previous consumption of a ‘penny per mile’.
Speaking about his creation to PhysOrg, physics major Coiro (originally from South Bend, Indiana) said, “The riding experience is surreal. I get instant, silent, constant acceleration that outpaces urban traffic. It’s like riding a magic carpet.”
Coiro has received a provisional patent for his ‘solar motorcycle’ and has co-launched an Electric Vehicle Club at Purdue University with Jim Danielson and Sean Kleinschmidt, two colleagues who converted a 987 Porsche 924S to run on electric power for $500.
“Purdue Electric Vehicles will encourage enthusiasm for, and knowledge and development of, electric vehicles by students and the community,” Coiro said of the club, adding that the EV Club will “patent and commercialize its breakthrough technologies and feed proceeds back into research and development of new prototypes.”
Coiro is also aiming to improve upon his current design, saying he is drawing up plans for a 100-horsepower motorcycle that will travel up to 100 miles per charge with a top speed of 100 mph.
“I’ve learned a lot building this first bike, and now I’m ready to make a game-changer,” Coiro said.
Lead image © Purdue News Service photo/Andrew Hancock
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