That was... not what I expected. A 4-placer? With... rowing benches? There's so much wrong with this I'm not sure where to start.
For one, the four place model seems oh-so-silly, in that most of the time you're not filling your car. Who wants to lug all that extra weight around? I sure don't.
Next, the rowing benches are pretty much inexcusable, unless you are designing for the disabled. Pedals are a much more efficient use of human muscle power.
Third, the aerodynamics are rather awful. You won't be going very fast.
There's no way I would buy this at just under $15,000, OR make my own.
What I thought you were going to be talking about is one of the electric-assist velomobiles available on the market. A velomobile is an aerodynamically sheathed recumbent bicycle, which a reasonably fit person can get upto 40km/h, and and atheletes can push 50km/h average speeds. (The top speed record is around 80km/h; there's a race on to get to 100km/h). They're available with electric assist to help you get up to speed, climb hills, etc-- the things that are harder in a velomobile due to the added weight of the aerodynamic sheath. So, human/electric hybrid. You could also cheat and cruise on the assist, I suppose, which would make it an electric car.
One of those I've seriously considered purchasing/building.
I'm not one to pooh-pooh innovation, but... I could buy 15 really nice super light bicycles, with bike trailers, for the cost of one Human Car. I see people starting to look out-side of the steel box in the transportation realm, but we seem to be hung up on the "car" concept. I'm sorry to be negative about the original poster's obvious excitement, but if this contraption is looking for a market, that is my honest feed back.
Alan Mikoleit wrote:I am making my own fully enclosed 3 wheel electric assist velomobile. It will be front wheel drive. The foam shell for the body is ready to fiberglass. The name will be Star-Tryk. Alan
Please make it open source (creative commons) we need more open source projects. It would also be a good way to attract help from people on the internet.