Hybrid and electric cars are a great way to cut down on your transportation carbon footprint on land, but sometimes it’s nice to dream big and beyond a rechargeable battery and paved roads. While we haven’t quite met the Jetson’s age when it comes to getting around, we’re getting pretty close. Designers worldwide are creating some seriously stellar transportation vehicles for use on land, sea and sky, aimed at the everyday man and woman. We’ve searched high and low for the most impressive designs that really exemplify innovative green thinking and creativity with no bounds. Read ahead to learn more about these awesome concepts – some of which have already gone into production and exploring the world as we speak!
Here’s a solar powered sea vessel we’d love to take for a spin on the ocean. PlanetSolar‘s TÛRANOR – the world’s largest solar-powered boat – has been making waves in every corner of the globe. The Swiss-designed, German-built ship is powered by over 5,380 square feet of solar paneling, and it hopes to inspire the fuel-guzzling shipping industry by promoting renewable energy.
3. Airbus’ Transparent Plane
Ever wondered what it would be like to fly in a transparent plane? Aerospace company Airbus have made plans to develop planes that will not only mimic the flight efficiency of a bird’s skeleton, but that their cabin walls will also be see-through! Although the new design may alarm those with a fear of flying and/or vertigo, the less faint-of-heart are sure find this prospect quite enthralling.
4. Octuri Flying Yacht
Here’s a yacht we can see the likes of Kanye West wanting to board himself. Part yacht and part flying machine, designer Yelken Octuri has created a flying yacht that features four masts able to retract to become wings as the watercraft turns into a plane. The yacht plane is powered by four dual propeller Nissen & Brasseur powerhead engines – which admittedly aren’t green – but when used as a sea vessel, the yacht is essentially wind-powered.
If the idea of being completely enclosed causes some anxiety, then this underwater scooter by Aquastar is a great alternative to exploring the ocean’s depths. Called the ‘AS-2 Scooter‘, this compact undersea vehicle is powered by a rechargeable electric battery and allows ocean enthusiasts to dive deep into the water. The AS-2 can seat two, meaning you can bring a friend along on your adventures. Once you’re sitting on the scooter, you lower a yellow helmet over your head to give way to a 99% distortion free view of the water around you. Once submerged, you have up to 70 minutes of oxygen.
6. Pedal Powered Submarine
This underwater vessel looks like something straight out of a James Bond movie. Developed by a team of French engineers, the mini-sub, nicknamed the ‘Scubster’, is the world’s first pedal-powered submarine. The Scubster is entirely human-powered and is designed so that the ‘driver’ only has to pedal to propel it underwater. The craft features a pedal belt connected to a twin-propeller system that, depending on the fitness of the driver, can reach speeds of up to 8km an hour (5mph). The mini-sub can currently reach a depth of 6 meters (20 ft), making it perfect for peddling through rivers, and shallow ocean excursions.
7. BMWs Motorrad e-Scooter
BMW is better known for their streamlined automotive designs, but they’re setting a new standard with their all new BMW Motorrad E-Scooter concept. This sleek scooter promises to be the perfect means of transportation for the future urban dweller. The Motorrad features an all-electric drive train that can reach top speeds enabling it for highway use, and its battery can take you up to 62 miles on a single charge. The scooter also has room for two to take a date for a spin in the city!
Which green ride do you want to take for a spin? Let us know in the comments below.
Diane Pham, Architecture and Design Editor of Inhabitat, is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Like so many people out there she too thought she wanted to be an architect when she grew up. After graduating from USC’s Marshall School, she enjoyed a brief stint at SCI-Arc, then working for the A+D Museum in Los Angeles, Perkins Eastman Architects and Resoultion4: Architecture handling their marketing, PR and graphic work. A native Angeleno, she’s also lived in Milan and Paris, and still has her sights set beyond the borders of the US. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, learning languages, cooking, taking photographs and doing as many new things as she can, every moment she can. Inhabitat is an online magazine devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. Written by a young tech-savvy team designers and design journalists, Inhabitat delivers fresh content daily, showcasing emerging work from the cutting-edge of the global design community.