A father and son team has set off from New York City in a human-electric hybrid vehicle that will take them across the country using the energy equivalent of just two gallons of gas to travel 4,000 miles.  Pierce Hoover, an inventor and journalist, came up with the idea to teach his son the value of turning off a single 100 watt light bulb.  That is the amount of energy they will use each day to travel across the United States.

Hoover and his 13 year-old son have embarked on this trip to publicize the energy we can all save by turning off unneeded lights and appliances.  In addition to reducing our electric bills, we can also help the environment.

The idea for the trip came about when Hoover was trying to figure out how to persuade his son to stop leaving lights on around the house.  He brought his son to a local gym, where exercise bikes measure energy output in watts.  When his son tried to pedal fast enough to generate enough energy to power s single 100-watt bulb, he realized how much energy was needed to power even simple household devices.

This led to a bigger idea.  One that would demonstrate how much could be done with the energy saved by turning off just one light.  They set a goal of crossing the country on the power of one 100 watt light bulb per day.  Then they worked with a team of engineers to design and build a human-electric hybrid vehicle with a 100-watt motor fueled by battery power and the kinetic energy of pedaling.

John Howley
Woodbridge, New Jersey

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