The Hornet is a new velomobile that is designed around an included electric-assist motor
The Hornet velomobile, with its optional cockpit "skirt"
The Hornet has a top motor-only speed of 32 km/h (20 mph), although riders can push it beyond that by adding their own pedaling power
The Hornet velomobile, with an optional 26-inch rear wheel
The Hornet weighs in at about 44 kilograms (97 lbs), battery and motor included
If you take a recumbent tricycle and enclose it in an aerodynamic fuselage, what you end up with is known as a velomobile. The vehicles are significantly faster than bicycles on the flats and downhills, plus they offer more weather protection, but they do tend to be heavy – this can make hill-climbing quite an ordeal. Some manufacturers compensate for this limitation by offering electric assist motors as optional extras, although these just add even more weight, along with boosting what is already often a pretty high price tag. Toronto-based BlueVelo, however, has taken an interesting approach with its new Hornet velomobile. It was designed around its electric assist motor, which is included in the vehicle’s relatively low price.
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