This is a non-profit compendium of car free living and how to build a small electric vehicle with a power system that can climb the steep hills with at least 450lbs total combined weight at a legal wattage. You will not find anything about how to build a fast bike here.
At the turn of the 20th
century, more than half the cars in the US were steam-powered. Steam cars and
Internal Combustion Engine cars were developed contemporaneously. Because
engineers already had 100 years of steam engine experience, the steam car had a
rather large head start.
By 1900 steam cars were
already highly automated — and, with no clutch or gearbox (steam provides constant
pressure, unlike the piston strokes of an ICE), very easy to drive.But they couldn’t match the price of
Steam engines, by
comparison, are very quiet, very clean, and can use almost any fuel. Steam
engines, by virtue of providing constant pressure, don’t require gearing — you
have maximum torque and acceleration instantly.For urban driving, where stopping and starting consume huge amounts of
fossil fuels, the continuous power from steam engines could be very good.
Throw in an advanced
condenser and some kind of flash boiler, and it should be possible to build a
steam car with decent efficiency and a warm-up time that’s measured in seconds
rather than minutes.