Beijing: Chinese engineers have developed China`s first "human-electric" hybrid vehicle, allowing users to charge it by pedalling as they drive along.
The vehicle, developed by researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, can carry two people and luggage.
Pedal energy is reclaimed and charges the battery. It can be driven in electric-only mode or pedal plus electric power, Shanghai Daily reported.
Unlike existing Twike electric cars in operation in Europe, the vehicle can be recharged anytime as it has an "intelligent battery".
Twike drivers can only recharge the vehicle through braking or moving down a slope.
The intelligent battery, developed in Shanghai, also allows users to gauge consumption. "If drivers are stuck in a traffic jam with the air-conditioning on, their car would soon run out of power," Jay Lee, President of the Advanced
Industrial Technology Research Institute was quoted as saying.
But using the pedalling option, people can recharge their vehicle, he said.
The 300-kg vehicle is 2.65 meters long, 1.20 meters wide and 1.25 meters high. Its top speed is 85 kms per hour and it can run for 150 kms if the battery is fully recharged.
The vehicle may go into production in 2012, Lee said.