What is clear, has 6 wheels, 4 hooves and a treadmill? The answer: the Naturmobil! Your eyes aren’t deceiving you – what appears before you actually IS a transparent vehicle (not quite sure why) powered solely by an eco-friendly motor (horse trotting on a treadmill). The Naturmobil, designed by Iranian engineer, Hadi Mirhejazi, is a concept that many an eco-designer has visualized in their minds, but thought “No, that couldn’t possibly work” and given up. Luckily, Hadi’s vision was not as fleeting – after 2 years, this crazy contraption has come to fruition and is accepting applications for public appearances.
So how does the Naturmobil work? The driver simply turns on the treadmill to get the “engine” to start trotting. The horse’s movement recharges the treadmill’s battery, and keeps the vehicle galloping along. During a road test, the vehicle reached speeds up to 28mph. Very impressive for a 1 horsepower car!
Animal advocates may be concerned about how the horse must feel and Mirhejazi actually spent a lot of time considering “many types of technology to make the horse comfortable.” A large jacket of cold water is used to keep the equine engine cool and “emissions” are collected in an extra-large colostomy bag. Unfortunately, there is no partition between horse and driver, so things can get a little stale – a small price to pay for going gasless (not all types of gas are omitted from the design).
Of course, there are a few other flaws to mention besides the odor issue. The Naturmobil should not be driven in very hot climates and driving it on highways is pretty dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
In terms of public relations, Mirhejazi was hoping to take a trip around the world showcasing his special vehicle, but the plans are not going as he had foreseen. As a sort of publicity stunt, he is offering to give away the prototype, patent, and $100,000 to anyone who can explain why the Naturmobil was really invented.