A Saudi inventor claims to have created the worldâ€™s first calorie-burning car, using old-world technology to solve a very 21st-century problem.
Looking a little like something from the Flintstones, the FitCar PPVâ€™s throttle has been replaced with a set of bicycle-style pedals, allowing drivers to get a workout on the way to work.
Creator Nasser Al Shawaf teamed up with Dutch engineering firm, BPO to convert the Audi A4 Avant after experiencing the frustrations of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
Exercise while you drive
He said: â€œI work in many cities around the world where a 60-minute-plus car commute, each-way, each day is not uncommon.
â€œThis is an unhealthy way to waste more than two hours every day. So, I came up with the idea of the FitCar â€“ which does exactly the same as any conventional car – getting us safely and comfortably from A to B, however in the FitCar you can exercise while you drive.â€
The FitCar mates the pedal mechanism to a flywheel, which generates an electronic pulse to engage the accelerator. The car is powered as normal, delivering the carâ€™s regular performance and economy, just governed by the pedalling motion instead of pressing the accelerator.
The car is braked using a motability-style hand control as the pedals require the removal of the brake pedal.
Nasser added: â€œWe are increasingly time-poor, and unfit, the FitCar PPV provides at least part of the solution to these two problems for those of us wishing to exercise more but without the time to do it. Iâ€™m really proud of the results.
â€œOur studies suggest a calorie burn-rate of more than 300 per 30 minutes.â€
Founder and managing director of BPO, Oscar Brocades Zaalberg, said:â€Our ambition is for the technology to be either adopted by a car manufacturer for a new generation of â€˜healthierâ€™ city cars, or for us simply to offer it as a conversion kit in to the after-market â€“ for those wishing to add PPV as an optional active extra to their car. Once you get in the car and drive it, it is intuitive, easy to control and safe.â€