In 2020 we’re all looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment, and one big way to do that is to generate clean emissions-free electricity. Whether it be solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, or wind, the renewable and clean energy movement is gaining momentum. What about good old fashioned human labor to create energy, though? Is it possible to hook up an electric generator to the rear wheel of your stationary bike and pedal-power your Tesla Model X to a full charge while getting a nice workout?
Janne Käpylehto, a Finnish inventor, came up with this power generation station for converting human kinetic energy into stored electric propulsion. Janne, in the description for the video on YouTube called the experiment “Silly but fun and concrete!” which is of course the best way to conduct science. It is still possible to learn something from silly concepts.
In this case, Janne had a Finnish cycling team come pedal pump some power into a Tesla Model X. It looks like this stunt was conducted on some kind of talk show called Ennätys Tehdas, which roughly translates to “Record Factory”, in the video below. I don’t know if this show is more analogous to an American nightly talk show with weird segments like this, or if it’s a kind of modern Finnish Bill Nye The Science Guy, but either way, I’m into it.
A full nine cyclists sat astride nine stationary bikes and pedaled away for twenty minutes. For all that energy exerted, the cyclists managed to give the Model X around 2 kilometers of extra range. That’s slightly better than the 3 miles of range per hour of charge you’d get from a three-prong NEMA single phase 120v plug. Of course, it would take around four days of non-stop cycling to charge the Model X from dead to 100 percent.
Obviously this isn’t a practical way of charging your car, but if you do get stranded in a dead Tesla Model X, all you need is several hours, nine stationary bikes, a Finnish cycling team, and Janne Käpylehto’s charging device to get you back up and running again. Neat.