purdue-solar-motorcycleTony Danger Coiro, a junior at Purdue University, has redesigned a 1978 Suzuki motorcycle into a street-legal, solar-powered mode of transportation.

Coiro originally spent $50 for his Suzuki then spent $2,500 refurbishing the motorcycle to include two fold-able solar panels, one on each side of the bike.

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Although the physics major may have invested a fair amount of money into revamping the motorcycle, it ultimately saves money, running at the cost of about a penny a mile. It has a top speed of about 45 m.p.h.

“There’s a misconception that energy has to be very expensive…I am far below a penny per mile,” says Coiro in a YouTube video.

The South Bend, Ind. native designed the motorcycle to go around 16 to 24 miles per charge, where its lead acid batteries get power from the bike’s solar cells. The motorcycle

“I have always been fascinated by energy and transportation, however, the more I learned about gasoline powered vehicles, the more I realized that they have serious technical limitations,” Coiro states in an interview with Purdue University.

can also be powered by plugging it into an electrical household current.

Coiro notes that internal combustion engines waste almost 70 percent of gasoline’s energy as heat. He says he knew there had to be a better solution to the challenge of propelling motorcycles and automobiles forward.

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“My career goals start with promoting and pushing the metaphorical envelope in developing electric vehicles because they are simple, several times more efficient, silent and, quite frankly, just better than gasoline,” Coiro explains.

Coiro has received a provisional patent for his invention and is working on designing a 100-horsepower motorcycle which will travel 100 miles per charge, and which that can reach a maximum speed of 100 m.p.h.

“I’ve learned a lot building this first bike, and now I’m ready to make a game-changer,” Coiro told UPI.com

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