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Ecomobile by David Jushpe

Concept 24 812

Ecomobile concept bike by David Jushpe David Jushpe is a furniture designer, and part-time boat builder, whose latest (somewhat blue-sky) project is a “concept for a high technological, hybrid, multi powered & multi environment vehicle.” His Ecomobile concept is a roofed recumbent e-bike with retractable pontoons for use on the water. He explains on his website:

“The body is made in cold-molded wood and carbon fiber manufactured in a high pressure bagging process. The floats are made from middle pressure inflatable cloth; they are retractable in dedicated chambers at the front and the back of the body.”

Ecomobile concept bike on the water The concept also features a foldaway wind generator and a photovoltaic panel in the roof.  He is looking for people to take part in his project, so if you are interested contact him through his website. I would like to see this actually built and working, so I’ll be watching the site for an update.

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  1. Andy October 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm -  Reply

    There are so many things to address with this design…
    1. A one foot wide windshield is pointless. It’s going to weigh and cost a lot, yet you’d still get soaked in the rain, and the efficiency of a fairing this tall won’t help the aerodynamics.
    2. How the heck would you fit inflatable pontoons in the body of this? Are the struts inflatable too, because if so, you would need extremely high pressures to keep them sturdy enough to keep this from flopping over in the water. Expect to be partially submerged to hold up at least 250lb above water too…
    3. The tiny propeller on top would be an engineering marvel to be able to power this craft on human power alone, though the tiny solar panel would indicate that they expect some battery power in here too (and where the heck is that stored?) Adding a second drivetrain to the roof would be another layer of complication (is there a clutch?)

    There’s just so little practicality to carrying around the boat parts unless you actually expected to cross a body of water half the time you wanted to get there by bike. Talk about a niche market!

    • Efried October 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm -  Reply

      There is no need to be so super critical about this attempt. Others like Sinclairs C5, the BMW C1 failed too. An those vehicles might define the target market for additional clients too.
      Add some pedal electric assist and up we go…

      • Andy October 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm -  Reply

        Super critical would be saying that they should have specified something like tire size – or any other detail that doesn’t require designing a new function from the ground (sea?) up.

        This concept assumes that an inflated set of tubes will hold 250+lb above water, which is an engineering marvel. If the designer could prove that one key aspect first, then maybe talking about converting it into a bike would be a next step. Until then, they’ve got a floppy vehicle and a very wet rider.

        • Androo October 29, 2011 at 3:16 am -  Reply

          Yes, the concept assumes that. And physics prove it.

          A cubic foot of air weighs 0.075 lbs, and water weighs 62.4 lbs. The difference in those densities is the buoyancy. Therefore, you’d need booms with at least 4 cubic feet of air to buoy up your (estimated) mass. For example, two booms 8 inches in diameter and 7 feet long. Sort of like how it’s illustrated in the rendering up there…

          Sure the design needs to be refined, but you’re acting like the premise is completely impossible…

          • Andy October 29, 2011 at 9:17 am -  Reply

            The premise is nearly impossible because inflated tubes aren’t going to hold such a craft upright. I’m not doubting the buoyancy, but I’m doubting that a thin cloth material can possibility hold pressures high enough to stay rigid enough to hold 250+lb upright.

  2. Mike October 26, 2011 at 11:22 am -  Reply

    To paraphrase Notorious B.I.G., “Real designers do real things.”

  3. David October 28, 2011 at 7:51 am -  Reply

    @ Andy, about the floats you’re right, the most challenging part of the project is the structure holding the float. It has to be an extremely strong but thin cloth. I’m looking for help from professional peoples for this.

  4. David October 28, 2011 at 10:46 am -  Reply

    Here I would like to explain my (own) theory about hybridozores….:
    C1, C5, PERVAES, VELOMOBILES, and others which are resulting from the mixture of 2 or 3 différents véhicules and so are compared to those, theses mixtures brings more disadvantages than advantages : C1 protect less than car and is less powerful than bike, C5 is heavier than bicyle and less manoeuvrable, Velomobile is more dangerous than bicycle, ….
    Ecomobile pretend yo be a completely new approach not comparable with anything existing …. just close your eyes, forget about everything you know and just imagine….how would be your daily travel to work, or your several hours trip on Sunday, or your 2 weeks travel in the country by ground and … Sea

  5. Efried October 28, 2011 at 11:38 am -  Reply

    David – you could think of a detachable floating construction for commuters easing your problems.
    As for the bicycle itself you first have to prove that it is different from other failed attempts to establish this kind of vehicles, I personally think we should give feed forward concepts a new try but….

  6. David October 28, 2011 at 7:27 pm -  Reply

    While waiting for technological revolutions to change mobility, transportations can be revolutioned by new concepts.

  7. David October 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm -  Reply

    @Efried, I’m a complicator I don’t want easy solutions. Detachable system is out of the concept. Ecomobile must be hybrid multi energy multi environment…. It has to be extremely light 20 – 25kg in order to be carried by one people and very convenient to use, no screws no detachable parts to store… All technology involved in it are existing, they have to be adapted. You will tell yes but the cost for it involving all this high tech things…? the costs are huge! but they directly depends on marketing, if you suceeds to mass market the cost can be cutted significantly. MTB can be purchased between 15 and 10.000Euro what mean 100 time for the same thing

  8. David October 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm -  Reply

    remark about windgenerator: following my thinks it’s firstly used to charge battery but as secondary it can be also used to help for propulsion. The main thrust on water is given by the paddle wheel. Ecomobile has to take advantage of different energy sources from actual environment and must be able to deliver this energy in different ways depending on the same actual situation. It’s a permanent, changing, energy management.

  9. David Jushpe October 28, 2011 at 8:33 pm -  Reply

    @ Efried #2 My theory is that the bicycle part can’t be considered by “itself” it can’t be better or different from another, after 100years of evolution and millions of brains thinking about how to revolution it, as long as there is no new technological evolution of course…
    If you take only one part of the ecomobile and compare, it will be of course worst but i’m convinced that it’s the wrong way of thinking and it’s probably the error of hybridozores mentionned above. We have to investigate the (eco) mobility in a new way. It’s where the solution should be and i hope my ecomobile is in this right, new, approach

  10. Mike October 31, 2011 at 10:22 am -  Reply

    “I’m a complicator I don’t want easy solutions”
    This is why you should not try to design functional things. I would strongly suggest shifting your professional interest to purely aesthetic design, like clothing or consumer furnishings. You will have a happier and more successful design career.

    This is never going to get built and doesn’t propose any viable ideas. Next, please.

    • Andy October 31, 2011 at 10:42 am -  Reply

      This is the difference between CAD “desiners” and people who actually make prototypes and real then real products. Just because there’s a picture of it online, doesn’t mean it could be functional, or feasible, or that anyone will be able to afford it. I like seeing neat ideas, but I don’t think for a second that there would ever be demand for a multi-thousand $$$ bike that can be set up to float.

  11. David October 31, 2011 at 10:35 am -  Reply

    “and the best artist are the ones who already died”

  12. David November 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

    you would said the same thing if you saw the design of an actually smart phone as little as 10years ago. Following your messages (Andy, Mike) there is no need innovation, no need designs and no need designers… product should be in the shop before it would be created 🙂 you should spend some time to think about the meaning of “Designer” Most of people are here to echange new ideas… if you want to see new bicyle you should browse online catalogues, here nothing for you guys.
    About price. There is no direct relation between cost and retail price, already explained above. Ecomobile may cost 1000 or 10000 it’s not important to define it right now

    • Mike November 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm -  Reply

      I say this over and over here, but when someone posts an elaborate rendering of something they clearly haven’t though about the construction and use of, it tells me that the part of the design process that the person enjoys is drawing neat looking things. That kind of person is never going to find the real work of design fun and rewarding; there simply aren’t jobs in the world of functional object design where you get to just draw something cool and hand off the prototyping, revisions given cost and materials limitations, and technical drawing to others. The right job for that kind of person is in aesthetic design — clothing, home goods, and other nonmechanical objects where form comes first and the number of steps in the process between design and production is very small. I think people think I’m mocking designers when I tell them to switch to doing this type of work, but I’m dead serious and I genuinely think they will find it more rewarding and spend much less of their life frustrated, unemployed, or both. In this case we’re actually talking about someone who is involved in aesthetic work now, and so what I’m saying is keep your day job. If your interest was really in designing the type of object you have drawn here you wouldn’t have drawn an elaborate rendering, you would have made some rough sketches and then started building prototypes.

      Please don’t insult all of us by saying that we’re only critical of you because we’re not forward-thinking and you are. People on here have decades of design experience, and many of us have brought stranger (albeit more practical) things than your ecomobile to market.

      You say I would have laughed at a smart phone design 10 years ago. Hate to tell you, but 10 years ago there were touch screen smart phones with wireless internet, voice recognition, and IR peripheral connectivity that was the precursor to bluetooth. Google the Ericsson R380 if you don’t believe me. They didn’t have GPS until 2004, but this was because GPS wasn’t really opened to civillian use until the late 90’s. The smart phone wasn’t some lighting bolt from the sky invention by Steve Jobs or anyone else, it’s the product of a chain of handheld computing designs that goes back at least three decades. They’re only ubiquitous now because the carriers have expanded their networks enough that they can sell the data service as a product to a large number of people and use those fees to subsidize the handset cost. 10 years ago the best smartphones cost around $600 at retail. Today if you want to buy an iphone 4s out of contract you will pay around $700.

      • Ross Nicholson November 5, 2011 at 1:46 am -  Reply

        Mike is right. The people who don’t get enough credit is the guys who put things together in the real world.
        Clearly people who make renderings can do so in many arts. But while the nuts and bolts crowd can be under-appreciated, it can also be overcompensated. I know for a fact that George Lucas did not write The Star War on which his famous series is based. (It was a 1963 novella, now as lost as Lucas and his agents can make it.) Lucas was a nuts and bolts guy with the contacts to get the job done.
        This design, like everything with two wheels, is derivative. And like most of the designs presented here, it might be a tad unlikely. It has served its purpose among us, though. It got us talking, eh?

  13. David November 5, 2011 at 2:48 am -  Reply

    You have your personnel vision of what can be build and what can’t be, it is limited by your own knowledge and skills. Don’t take it as universal.
    Personally i’m here to meet peoples who believe in the concept which I believe is original. As I said at the beginning; it’s technically very challenging. I’m not here to compare my skills with yours. I’m not here to waisting my time. I want to discuss concepts and technical solutions.
    I know it can be build you know it can’t be so the discussion is closed.

  14. Mike November 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm -  Reply

    Ho man, I can’t resist one more on this. Check out Bike snob NYC today for the 130 year old version of this design, complete with “Inflatable side cushions to prevent lateral falls and running off narrow bridges. These being filled with hydrogen gas will overcome the entire weight of the machine and rider, leaving just enough bearing on the ground to supply the necessary running friction. With these attachments the rider is expected to outstrip the wind, and even ride to Naples via Canandaigua Lake.”

  15. Julian Gould December 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm -  Reply

    I love the shape which is suitable for a practical fully man powered bike and would comment as follows:
    In this congested world, a recumbant bike has to put the rider high enough in the saddle to see and be seen, but still give good leverage on the pedals for maximum performance .
    If it can be made light enough, then the wheels can be thin rimmed for minimum resistance.
    I guess that the connection of the pedal bottom bracket and steering head to alightweight structure will be a problem.

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