The Future of Cars? (

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Jay Perdue interviews with a NBC affiliate, KAMR Channel 4, in Amarillo, Texas.


AMARILLO — One Amarillo man is hoping his Tri-Hybrid prototype car could be the future of cars.
“It’s tri-hybrid because it is a human electric-diesel power vehicle,” said Jay Perdue, the Tri Hybrid Stealth’s creator. “It’s stealth because you see it’s made out of all flat panels, but it’s extremely aerodynamic.”

In August, Perdue is taking the Tri-Hybrid Stealth on a 5,000-mile trip across the country, eventually ending in Washington, D.C. There, he has a message for Congress and Detroit.

“A guy that knows hardly anything can build a vehicle that goes 100 mph, gets 200 mpg,” said Perdue. “Come on, guys. They oughta be able to do this. This is not rocket science.”

The project all started 14 months ago in the garage at Perdue’s Amarillo-based acoustics company. He’s been working on it 8 to 12 hours every day since.
He got the idea after he became the first man to cross the entire country on land and water in the same vehicle. He also took that vehicle, the Peddle Paddle, across Lake Meredith.

“That got me to thinking, humans and machines can work so well together, and we desperately need exercise in America,” said Perdue. “Why can’t we do this?”

The diesel engine and electric motor work together to power the vehicle on a one gallon tank, with a little help from some foot pedals.

“You just got your cardiovascular! It’s built right into your day.”

Perdue swears anyone with limited mechanical and welding experience could make a car like the Tri-Hybrid Stealth. The interior clutches, one which controls the diesel engine, the other controlling the electric engine, are both used, modified clutches from a John Deere riding mower.

The Tri Hybrid Stealth is also street legal, registered in Tennessee, where Perdue operates a second acoustic business location and lives, along with his wife Vickie, for part of the year.

“Let police know I have insurance on this car,” joked Perdue.

The challenge ahead is making sure politicians and automakers come around on the prototype, or at least are convinced of the potential for smarter, more efficient cars in the U.S.

Perdue’s trip starts in Iowa on August 15. He’ll hit the West Coast before wrapping around and heading east to D.C. He expects to pass back through Amarillo around Labor Day.

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