— Urban Transport
ProGo scooter packs the power of propane
The ProGo folds for transport and storage
When it comes to eco-friendly forms of powered transportation, we generally tend to think of electric vehicles. Many people are still bothered by their limited range, however, along with the fact that it takes them a long time to recharge. That's why Los Angeles-based ProGo Recreation is taking another approach with its ProGo 3000 scooter – the thing runs on propane.
The ProGo (not the GoPro, that's something else) utilizes a standard 16.4-oz (465-g) propane cylinder, of the type used for camp stoves. Attached to the rear deck of the scooter in front of the 25-cc four-stroke engine, one of those cylinders reportedly gives the vehicle a range of 30 to 40 miles (48 to 64 km) or two to three hours. It has a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h).
Along with its unique fuel choice, some of the 35-lb (15.9-kg) scooter's other features include a folding steel frame, easy-pull engine start, and front and rear disc brakes. It can carry a load of up to 275 lb (125 kg).
According to the company, the ProGo is EPA and CARB (California Air Resources Board) approved, and is legal to ride "everywhere that gas scooters are not."
Of course, propane isn't a completely green fuel. It's much cleaner-burning than gasoline, however, plus it has a higher energy density – so less of it is needed to do the same amount of work. The propane cylinders can also be reused by their manufacturers.
ProGo Recreation is currently raising production funds for the scooter, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$375 will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. The planned retail price is $449. For readers who may remember a similar scooter known as the Go-Ped, ProGo informs us that there is no relationship between the two.
The ProGo 3000 can be seen in action, in the pitch video below.
Sources: ProGo, Kickstarter
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
Looks interesting and seems to have decent brakes.
To broaden the appeal they should option it to take those butane stove 'aerosol' cans which could be bought and thrown away during transit.
I think that is a cool and green idea.
I agree with Ozuzi idea. It would make it useable when camping or other places where one can easily get those 'aerosol' cans.
I'm not sure what canisters Ozuzi is referring to. When I went to the kickstarter page they state that this scooter uses one of these: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Propane-Fuel-16.4-oz/20923696 so would meet the criteria he specified of easy to obtain and disposable. Even if not using the coleman brand this is a very common cylinder type so most stores have them if they have sports or camping stuff at all.
Neat scooter. Funny video. I'm pretty sure the Chassid isn't interested in the Shicksas though.
This is cute but should not be confused with clean energy. There is little chance that it could ever be powered by renewable energy, so it's just one more source of CO2 - the problem that has got us into our climate mess. An electric scooter would be a far more responsible choice - and quieter.
Propane as a heat source (whether camping or residential) is more defensible since as a heat source it is >90% efficient. Run through an internal combustion engine 70% of the energy is wasted.
LP is less powerful than gasoline, and requires a bunch of it to do the job, hence the tank will freeze,dropping the line pressure, reducing performance. making a already dangerous vehicle, even more dangerous (if that's possible) anybody that's drove one of these knows, It needs to run perfectly, or a dirt sandwich is in your future !
Now anybody in the know can see that the tank is on its side and the fuel delivery is not going to be even, and if this vehicle did work, my guess is 10mph for about 10 minutes (and that's going downhill leaning to the right so as to get liquid out of the bottle)
And how is it (pictured) a 2 stoke when this idea will only work with a 4 stroke motor.
Classic "It looked good on paper" Duh.
And the tanks are throw away, you can argue that with the DOT. they have the final say on that issue.
Awesome idea for short commuters like me that don't want mountain bike or some crummy electric "scooter".
I would recommend that you consider also including a second tank holder for a spare. Would hate to carry a second tank in my backpack all the time. Would really suck to run out of propane and not have a spare with you.
Great idea though... love it.
Of course, propane isn't a completely green fuel
If "green = renewable", then it's not green at all.
Re: Jay Finke
On all propane forklifts (USA) the canister is laid sideways. Its a industry norm, if it wasn't practical they wouldn't do it. I own a 49cc two-stroke of this ubiquitous design. It is unsafe therefore fun to ride & similar to a skateboard. Anticipation and keeping your weight on the back leg helps to slow down/stop.
This has been done for years with autos especially on the farm. Vehicle engine lasts longer due to no deposits and oil lasts due to lack of cross contamination in the cylinder.
It needs a rack to stack cans inline for an extended ride
Propane does not have a higher energy density by volume than gasoline. It is only about 75%.
You do know the tanks designed to work on forklifts are liquid line tanks right ? they have nothing to do with BBQ tanks.
And yes, I know it burns cleaner, way cleaner, but at big performance cost.
I love the propane tank idea.
if the engine pictured 'is' a 2-stroke,and propane is being used as fuel,then how is the engine being lubricated?
Propane may have some green cred, but throwaway cannisters do not. If purchased in bulk the cannisters can run $3.50 each. Assuming a 30 mile range per cannister the fuel cost is a tad over 10 cents a mile, which is a little better than some something like a Fiat 500. Low capital cost, go-most-places but slowly, and the wind in your face may make it worthwhile.
Bruce H. Anderson
Got me on the forklift. According to ASTM D357 motor method, Propane is 97.1 octane. How would that be a performance cost? If the engine were under built for the fuel than yes, but if correct compression were utilized it would perform like an engine twice the size.
I have a Craftsman 4 stroke weed eater that uses propane. I had never heard of them before I bought it, and didn't see them until they were clearing them out, and got it for the price of a 2 stroke. The sales guy claimed they weren't popular, so they were getting rid of them. It would help if they advertised them! It uses the standard 16.4oz tank like this scooter, and it lasts a long time. Granted, it's a less demanding job than hauling around a person! But, if it was gasoline, I would have to fill it up every time I used it, whereas this lasts about 10 uses. Gas is easier to come by, but these little tanks are available almost everywhere, and a spare is easy to keep on hand. And the only reliability issue has been the string head itself, the motor has been flawless for 3 years now.
CliffG, we don't have a climate mess. Where does the energy to produce electricity come from? Not just by wind turbines, solar panels and hydroelectric plants but by coal and nuclear energy. Electricity isn't free!
I never had a problem with my propane torch when holding the tank sideways.
I would rather have a 20 pound tank.
Figured I would add, my weed eater canister is held sideways like the scooter shows. Doesn't seem to cause an issue. The only thing odd I noticed about it was during break-in (first month I had it). When I went in and out of the shade on a sunny day, it would rev up when I came out in the sun. I attributed it to the increased pressure in the canister from the sun heating it up. Could have been a coincidence, but it was fairly consistent. It was only a minor annoyance anyway, but for whatever reason it no longer does this.
So burning fuel in a combustion engine to generate electricity and then running the electricity through miles of non-superconducting wires and then converting a swell amount of electricity into heat while putting it into an environmental disaster called a battery is suppose to be greener.
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