Could pedal-powered cars in the Netherlands be the future?

We know the Dutch love bikes, but sometimes they have to settle for a car instead. So what did they do? Create a pedal-powered car! Dutch engineering company BPO have worked with Saudi Arabian inventor Nasser Al Shawaf to construct the prototype of a FitCar PPV (Pedal-Powered Vehicle). 

Nasser Al Shawaf first came up with the idea of a pedal-powered car when he was commuting to work. He wanted to do something more productive with his time. When he first commissioned BPO to help him, the founder, Oscar Brocades Zaalberg, admitted he was hesitant to agree to the challenge.

How does the car work?

Both the company and Nasser are incredibly proud of the results. It’s basically a car with bike pedals and a hand-operated brake. When you start pedalling, the accelerator is triggered, powering the normal engine. The car comes with three simple settings: Drive Fast, Drive Slow and No Drive. Their studies suggest a calorie burn-rate of more than 300 per 30 minutes!

How safe is it?

Holland might be the perfect place to introduce the car first, seeing as the Dutch are so used to cycling every day anyway, but some people are wondering how safe this will be. The company is patented across the world, but it still waiting for RDW approval in the Netherlands to finally get on the road.

Meanwhile, why not read about the new ban on texting whilst cycling, the new answer to congested bike-parking or check out our other articles on Dutch transportation?

So, are you someone who feels completely restless whilst sitting in traffic and could benefit from a little exercise during that time? Or are you thinking, “Sure, nice concept, but couldn’t this get old pretty quickly?” Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: FitCar PPV/Supplied
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published October 4 2018. We’ve fully revised and updated it with the latest information October 11th 2019. 

Abbie Neale
Abbie, a writer from the UK, fell in love with the Netherlands when she was three years old. When she’s not spending her free time painting canals or playing the guitar, she’ll be off travelling somewhere (and probably getting lost).


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