Light Alternative Vehicles

Light Alternative Vehicles

Light alternative vehicles (LAV) are small, lightweight road vehicles such as bicycles, electric bicycles and velomobiles. They provide a transportation alternative to the private automobile. These vehicles can provide healthy, economical transportation that produces minimal greenhouse gas emissions and toxins, and only minimally tax energy supplies. Bicycles predominate in this group, but also included are electric bicycles, velomobiles (enclosed human-powered or human/electric hybrid powered vehicles), some light electric vehicles and similar vehicles. Most are human-powered, electric, or hybrid human-electric, although for the purposes of this paper power is not considered a defining characteristic. These vehicles are usually economical to own and operate, clean, quiet and energy-efficient. Although they may differ significantly in appearance and configuration, they share similar technologies and operational environments.  

Recent LAV research at Grove City College includes measurement of drivetrain efficiencies, measurement of structural loads on vehicle frames, measurement of vehicle tire properties and determination of optimal crank lengths.  

Conference Publications with students as co-authors:
Experimental Determination of Operational Pedal Cycle Frame Loads
Experimental Testing for the Cornering Stiffness of Bike Tires

Abstracts of past work with students:
Composite Propeller Construction
The Effect of Crank Length on Delta Efficiency in Recumbent Cycling
Human Powered Hydrofoil Design