And now, the bi­cy­cle car

New Straits Times - - Bots - Daily Mail

AT first glance, you would be for­given for mis­tak­ing this tiny car for a child’s toy.

But the four-wheeled ve­hi­cle is, in fact, the world’s first all-weather e-bike, de­signed to make eco-friendly jour­neys.

While the PodRide ve­hi­cle is cur­rently only a con­cept, its de­signer says that he is plan­ning on sell­ing the first batch of mod­els later this year.

De­sign en­gi­neer Mikael Kjell­man pro­duced the bizarre PodRide ve­hi­cle in Oster­sund, Swe­den, with the ba­sic idea of cre­at­ing a weather-pro­tected and more com­fort­able bi­cy­cle.

Mak­ing use of an elec­tric mo­tor, this road-le­gal e-bi­cy­cle car can travel long dis­tances both eas­ier and cheaper while main­tain­ing an eco-friendly jour­ney.

“A lot of ef­fort has been put into mak­ing the PodRide more com­fort­able and prac­ti­cal but it has also proven to be real fun to drive,” said Kjell­man.

“So my so­lu­tion has been this four­wheeled, fully-cov­ered bi­cy­cle car.”

PodRide al­lows driv­ers to sit at the same height as those in nor­mal cars and with ex­tra room in the back for lug­gage and shop­ping bags.

“In the front, I have in­stalled an ex­tra air vent, head­lights and in­di­ca­tors. It has a 250w crank­shaft en­gine, with rear sus­pen­sion and a com­fort­able, padded seat. You steer with sticks on the side of the ve­hi­cle and ap­ply brake us­ing han­dles.

“We drive on both rear wheels and with many gears. It can even take on steep hills and rough ter­rain.

“To get bet­ter ven­ti­la­tion in the sum­mer, you can open up the lower part of the front win­dow and both the side win­dows.

“There is also a small elec­tric heater to de­frost the win­dows when parked out­side in the win­ter.”

With a range of 60km and a top en­gine speed of around 25km/h, PodRide is roadle­gal in Swe­den and a few other coun­tries.

The team is plan­ning on sell­ing the first batch of mod­els later this year, with the price as yet un­con­firmed.

“It’s still just a pro­to­type. But I’ve been driv­ing it to work for more than a year now and it has proven to work very well,” said Kjell­man. PodRide al­lows driv­ers to sit at the same height as those in nor­mal cars and with ex­tra room in the back for lug­gage and shop­ping bags.

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