Matthew: Planes, motorcycles, helicopters, bikes.. How did this intense interest in building these modes of transportation start?
Neal : When I was young and impressionable every kid on the block was enthralled by Evil Knievel. This guy was an old school motorcycle daredevil who jumped cars and he even jumped the Grand Canyon on a rocket! We spent every day jumping our bicycles and riding around trying to be like him. Then when I got older I wanted to fly and build airplanes so I got really involved with flying model airplanes. I learned a lot from model airplanes and later received my Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Matthew : So now your new project is the Fat Free Electric Bicycle. What motivated you to do a E-Bike?
Neal : I love riding bikes downhill, but uphill; not so much. I don’t understand people who enjoy grinding their bike up a steep hill. Electric assist bikes are the perfect compromise. You still have to pedal, but hills are no problem. I just want a good workout, but I don’t want to be exhausted.
Matthew : What are your long term goals for NTS Works?
Neal : We want to take our Lifetime Rebuildable Battery technology and put it into everything from portable power sources to electric busses. I cringe very time I see a lead acid battery being disposed of. Lead is really bad for the environment and a lot of lead is put into air as pollution when making or recycling lead acid batteries. Our batteries are rebuildable, re-useable and recyclable.
Matthew : Does living / working in Santa Cruz County influence what you do?
Neal : We enjoy the beach as much as we can. My wife and I are avid beach volleyball players. As far as work goes, we like the mix of Santa Cruz relaxed lifestyle and the high tech energy of the Silicon Valley. Santa Cruz is the best place I’ve ever lived, but I do wish there were more protected bike lanes. We should really invest in protected bicycle lanes like Chicago and other bigger cities.
Matthew : The year is 2030, what are you working on?
Neal : By then our country will be out of oil and all vehicles will be electric. I’d love to work on electric airplanes, but I think it’s too soon to do it now. We have to get all the ground transportation converted to electric first.
To learn more about what Neal Saiki is doing go to ntsworks.com
Also, do forget to come to the one year anniversary of Event Santa Cruz Sept 18th. Info at : The Next event