We call a car with a gas engine and an electric motor a hybrid. What do you call a fully enclosed three wheel pedal car with an electric motor?
The people at VeloMetro, a Vancouver based start-up call theirs a Velomobile. The Veemo hybrid tricycle prototype uses an aluminium composite sandwich for its composite body with integrated crumple zones.
What is a Veemo?
The Veemo is VeloMetro’s entry into the electric-assist ‘velocar’ market, which could help people replace many of their local trips in gas automobiles in favour of using a smaller and more efficient electric vehicle. These electric velocars seem to bridge the gap between an electric bike and a ‘neighbourhood electric vehicle,’ and may help get people pedalling who otherwise wouldn’t.
There have been studies that have shown that up to 60 percent of a city’s population would like to cycle more, but they don’t for reasons such as not wanting to get into cycling attire, not wanting to wear a helmet, or worrying about their bike getting stolen and Veemo is exactly designed to service these issues.
Because the Veemo is enclosed, riders don’t need to wear a helmet or protective clothing. The electric assist feature means they won’t work up a sweat or need to change clothes when they get where they’re going. Fitness conscious users can also be happy with a Veemo!
Why is Veemo a boon to the urban population?
The Veemo has an automatic transmission with a reverse gear, hydraulic disc brakes, and a full LED lighting system. It should weigh about 265 lbs in its final production configuration. With its lithium ion battery pack, it should have a range of 62 miles. The top speed is limited to 20 mph to avoid having it classified as a motor vehicle by the local DMV.
With Veemo you can turn all sharing and caring!
Bicycle sharing services are very popular in many large cities but riding a bike in the rain or a snowstorm can be unpleasant there are already existing car sharing services like BlueIndy that are useful, but the cost can add up. The velomobile sharing program designed by VeloMetro for the Veemo costs just 20 cents a minute. Whatta deal!
How does it work?
There is no membership requirement. Instead, drivers use their smartphone to sign out a Veemo from a nearby VeloMetro lot, using their credit card whenever they need one. As they approach their destination, an internet connected dashboard tablet will show them the locations of motorcycle parking spots close by, along with other drop-off locations. The first Veemo-sharing service for the general public is scheduled to start in Vancouver next year, with other Pacific Northwest cities following soon afterward. If you want a Veemo of your own, there are plans for individual sales at some point in the future but the retail prices have not been announced.
‘Is the Veemo a good idea or just another shooting star in the sky proposal doomed to failure?’ Tell us at ED what you think in the comments section.
Do you want to find out how new technologies can tackle waste in urban areas? Read here: ‘Can New Technologies Tackle Urban Waste?’
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.