Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Self-Powered Pickup on Two Wheels

Not being (financially) rich is a blessing for me. First, it forces me to find cheap and creative solutions to expensive problems. Second, it keeps me from running off and blowing all of our hard-earned money on somebody else's hard work and creativity.

That somebody else for today's blog entry is a guy named Neal Saiki.

Neal, among other things is the co-founder of Zero Motorcycles. At this point in time, Zero is probably your best option if you want to go out and buy yourself a new electric motorcycle, but don't ask for Neal if you drop by the factory. (And it's very hard to drop by the Zero factory - I tried last year.)

You will find him down the road at his new place - NTS Works, where they build some extremely cool and functional electric cargo bikes. Pricewise, they are in the same range as the cool cruisers featured on this blog back on January 8th (link at the bottom). But there are a few major differences. The NTS bikes are not built to be beauty queens or showpieces. They are built to do work and to be two-wheeled trucks. And one of the NTS bikes is built to feed itself. All you have to do is park it in the sun.

If we had the hard earned money just sitting in a pile at home, I'd be throwing that money at Neal as soon as I finished this blog post. If you follow this post through to the NTS website, be sure to check out the very high-powered and compact solar panel and how little the price difference is between the solar and the non-solar models. And check out their interesting and appealing approach to battery warranty. And, just bask in the glory of the functional coolness. (Sigh.)

Now for those of you who sigh like I do and don't have the pile of money to throw at Neal, here are a few Instructables to help you run out and build your own cargo cycle.

And here is the original Derek Markham article  from Treehugger that led me to the NTS Works website.

May you be inspired whether you throw money at Neal or not.