2015 Geneva Auto Show

Velomobile

The prototype Raht Racer – Raht standing for Recumbent Human Automobile Transit

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.  Read More

The futuristic looking Zeppelin three-wheeler features an aluminum and polycarbonate exter...

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.  Read More

The Pedalist on display in Las Vegas (Photo: Ben Coxworth)

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.  Read More

The Veloschmitt has a  Müller headlight system

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.  Read More

'The project challenge was to design a DIY build system for a velomobile from easy-to-sour...

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.  Read More

The e-fox is the most recent in a line of car-like velomobiles to come out of the US

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.  Read More

The ELF is a pedal/electric velomobile, that can be charged using a built-in photovoltaic ...

While it’s all very well and good to use an electric vehicle as your around-town ride, full-size electric cars can still be pretty pricey. Also, as many of their critics are quick to point out, the electricity used to charge their batteries currently still tends to come from eco-unfriendly sources such as coal-burning power plants. Well, that’s where the three-wheeled ELF velomobile comes into play. It’s cheaper than a car, can be pedaled like a tricycle, and the battery that powers its electric assist motor can be charged from the Sun.  Read More

The Tripod is an electric-assist velomobile made in Portland, Oregon

Velomobiles are certainly a unique form of transportation. They’re essentially human-powered recumbent tricycles, with a full-body fairing to increase their aerodynamics and protect against inclement weather. Most of them are made in Europe, which unfortunately adds to their already-steep prices for non-European buyers ... so, when we spied the made-in-the-USA Tripod velomobile in Portland, Oregon earlier this month, we took note. He’s a quick look at some of the things that make it special.  Read More

The Hornet is a new velomobile that is designed around an included electric-assist motor

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.  Read More

Hase Bikes' KLIMAX tricycle features a detachable folding fairing, allowing users to add w...

While there are those of us who are strangely attracted to velomobiles – recumbent tricycles with full aerodynamic fairings – the idiosyncratic vehicles certainly have their drawbacks. Among these are the fact that the fairing, which is usually a hard shell, adds weight and traps heat inside with the rider. It also contributes to the sky-high price of the trikes, which can reach around US$15,000. Hase Bikes has taken an interesting approach with its KLIMAX 2K recumbent tricycle by using a weatherproof fabric fairing, that folds down and comes off when not wanted.  Read More

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