The Morgan Threewheeler
is definitely a unique vehicle, although with prices starting just shy
of £30,000 (about US$47,000) ... well, it ain't cheap. That said, if
it's mainly just the look of the thing that you like, you might
consider saving quite a few bucks and going with the human/electric
hybrid replica now being offered by Minsk-based Ekomobil.
Electric bikes may help you climb hills, fight headwinds and arrive at
work in a non-sweaty state, but they still won't keep you dry when it
rains. That's one of the reasons that some people – mostly deep-pocketed
people – are looking at human/electric hybrid velomobiles. One of the latest such vehicles to hit the road is Virginia-based inventor Peter Ginzburg's GinzVelo.
Last September, we spied a prototype of Virtue Cycles' Pedalist electric-assist velomobile
at Interbike in Las Vegas. Now, the San Diego-based company has turned to Kickstarter to fund production of the vehicle, plus it's provided a little more in the way of specs.
If you happen to be at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, you may see a rather unusual vehicle on the road. It's an all-aluminum fully-enclosed electric-assist MaxxVelo velomobile, built by Austin's Michael White. Although it was originally meant to be the first in a line of commercially-produced velomobiles, it ended up being the only one of its kind ... and now, you can buy it.
With their sleek shells providing both protection from the elements and an aerodynamic advantage over bicycles, human-powered velomobiles
do offer an intriguing alternative to cars. Unfortunately, though, they can't go as fast as automobiles, meaning that they often still have to be ridden along the side of the road. Minneapolis-based inventor Rich Kronfield wants to change that, with his Raht Racer. It's an electric-assist velomobile that amplifies the rider's pedaling power, reportedly allowing them to move as fast
as the cars around them.
The team behind The Future People, who brought us the FireFly
back in 2013, has recently completed two more human-powered velomobiles which where on display during the 2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show
. Dubbed Zeppelin and Cyclone, both prototypes push the boundaries of the common human-powered vehicle (HPV) with designs that look to the past and the future.
Well, the popular Elf velomobile
may be in for some competition. San Diego-based Virtue Cycle Solutions has developed a sort of electric cargo trike/pedal car type thing of its own, that it’s hoping to bring to production sometime soon. We had a chance to take a peek at the snazzy-looking prototype at Interbike 2014.
Along with 1950s/60s contemporaries like the Isetta, the three-wheeled Messerschmitt KR200 was one of the original microcars. The car continues to have a following half a century later, so much so that a pair of designers have developed a unique tribute. The Veloschmitt is styled like the original bubble car, but relies on a pedelec bicycle platform in place of the two-stroke engine build.
Industrial Design lecturer Mark Richardson, from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has created a velomobile prototype made from salvaged materials, a few off-the-shelf parts and modular 3D printed components. Dubbed FAB Velo, the open source project features a modular design that was developed with the aim of enabling users to build their own velomobile.
Velomobiles, which can more or less be defined as enclosed human-powered tricycles, come in many shapes and forms. Both the Elf
and the Tripod
feature an electric-assist motor, and have opted for a look that's sort of like a cross between that of a trike and a car. The e-fox is the latest such vehicle to come to our attention. It offers the same basic features as its rivals, but at a lower estimated price.