I saw my first velomobile on the streets of Wellington on Friday evening. They are very, very cool.
2 youtube links follow:
There’s a company in Toronto called BlueVelo that will sell you a velomobile with an e-kit that has regenerative braking and a 500W motor, street legal as a bicycle in Canada (not NZ or Australia though) for a cool CDN$8000.
The future is going to have the 1930s art deco vision of the future after all. And I reckon one of these enclosed recumbents could also float as a boat. George Jetson thinking caps on everybody.
I’m quite enamored to the Wisper Sports Pedal Electric bikes. I definitely see the use of pedal electrics as part of the getting more people on bikes equation, along with better bike infrastructure. But maybe the all-weather aspect of an enclosed velomobile is the way to go in a town with dud weather like Wellington. If only they were cheaper. They are definitely faster than a normal bike. 40km/hr on flat terrain without the electric assist. Maybe with electric assist they can go 50 or 60 km/hr and have turn signals and brake lights and headlights (and radios) like cars, but still at their heart be bicycles. Even under electric power these things have the equivalent mileage of greater than 1000 mpg. So they don’t cost the Earth or $60 a week in petrol. If they are fully lockable they’d maybe not be stolen and if they have a roll bar behind the head, they’d be quite safe too. Yet they would still be legal bicycles (with only a small increase in the power allowed from 300W to 500W).
Stuff your hybrid cars and their 1200kg+ bodies. The future involves electric assist velomobiles.