A few weeks ago we received an email titled « How Mellow Goes Clean » from Frank Grimm with a photo of a Mellow plugged into a Benzine gas pump with a solar panel on top of it. This peaked our interest so we wanted to see what this eco-retro-tech contraption was all about and try to find out if we could make Mellow more clean.
We had an appointment at the local Electra Bikes shop in Hamburg where Frank had sold one of these contraptions to the shop and it sat in front with the writing on the window stating « YOU NEED ENERGY »
We found Frank out front along side Adam Wilkins, District Manager for Electra and Trek, and discussed what this was all about. Frank explained the point of his solar powered gas pumped for e-vehicles was « to get cleaner when you plug in for electricity since we consume so much between our vehicles, phones and laptops. If you are tapping into coal or nuclear sourced energy the whole clean vehicle claim doesn’t really make sense. With a little patience and organization you can ride on clean energy. »
We stood around in front of the shop that was bathing in August sunlight besides the old gas pump as Frank explained what he build this contraption with. « I found the old gas pump online. The solar panel is a 160W high performance panel with 100amp storage hooked to an AGM battery like you find in a car. We could have used lithium batteries but that would be more expensive. » He wanted to make clear that he wasn’t launching a business of solar gas stations instead « it is just a first idea to create awareness. I did it to open my own mind and experiment. I am not trying to make money from this. This prototype, even after selling it, came out to zero profit. I just want to create awareness about the e-devices. Remind people to keep them clean! »
Unlimited energy is sort of a plague. Frank explained « I came to this conclusion after I spent a week in the woods I really had the realization. Better enjoy your time and bring a book and realize the energy is limited. » We went on to discuss if people could handle limited energy. We reminisced about times when people were not so energyvore and seemed pretty happy. But, he admits that convenient « electrical vehicles helps us not loose our mobility. We can get people back on bikes and skateboards. It’s awesome. Thanks to his e-bike my dad is 80 and rides his bike again! »
We went on to discuss if we could send direct energy from solar panels to our vehicles while in use. We played with the ideas of solar suitcases and solar panel umbrella. It’s an exciting time where you can become self-sufficient for many of your energy needs whether it be your communication devices or mobility vehicles. If you are interested in making a set up like this for your own to charge your Mellow, he says it takes about 3.5 hours to collect the energy to fill a Mellow battery on a sunny day and you will have to invest around 800-900euros to make it.
Follow Frank's mission on his site keep-e-clean.com