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News announcement1 April 2019

These new person-powered cars are no joke

The JRC’s new DOPE device has been decades in the making
© Adobe stock, Andrey Burmakin 2018

Scientists at the JRC's advanced wind-up technologies centre in Scherzburg have finally completed work on a potentially ground breaking new green motor technology: Dynamic Oil-free automobile Propulsion Equipment, or DOPE for short.

Running purely on person-power, the DOPE device works in much the same way as a wind-up radio.

Electricity is converted from the mechanical energy of a winding mechanism at the back of the car, which is basically a very small electric generator.

JRC scientists have been working on the device from as early as 1962, fine-tuning the magnetic components and the torsion of the winding mechanism to ensure maximum arm-to-car power transference.

A JRC scientist working on an early prototype of the mechanism in the 1960s
A JRC scientist working on an early prototype of the mechanism in the 1960s
© EU, 2019

After completing tests on the finalised mechanism, Professor Frink of the wind-up technologies centre remarked "We all have very tired arms. But it's been worth it. At the very least, DOPE represents a revolution in the way we think about transport and how much energy we're expending whizzing ourselves around in high-speed automobiles. We had to take shifts to get this thing wound-up before lunchtime, and it barely got us to the cafeteria."

Images of the DOPE device are being held tightly under wraps until the official opening ceremony, to be held on April 1st 2019.

In the meantime, you can view the promotional video for the technology over on Youtube.

Or alternatively, for something a little more realistic, check out the latest from the JRC on energy and transport here, which recently includes expert input to a global map of travel time to cities and key science support to actions for a competitive, green and trusted European car industry.

Details

Publication date
1 April 2019