Podride velomobile (2)

From the country that gave the world the adjustable wrench, three-point seatbelt and GPS, now comes the Podride, an all-weather, four-wheeled bicycle, fully-enclosed by a fabric body, and with an electric motor. The brain-child of Swedish designer Mikael Kjellman, Podride was developed a year ago as a prototype personal transport.

This four-wheeled bicycle – also called a velomobile, quad bike or quadracycle – has a fully enclosed waterproof body with a recumbent seating position that places the rider the same height as a typical saloon car. The Podride is powered by the rider, using 14-speed bicycle gearing, or with the 250-watt electric e-bike motor, and steering uses a pair of tillers.

There is a small storage space in the rear, and the Podride even has a manual windshield wiper. Headlights and turn signals are also included in the design. Kjellman says the top speed of the Podride is 25 km/h, as governed by Swedish law, and range is approximately 60 km on battery power.

Designed to tackle the snow and ice of Sweden, the Podride rolls on 20-inch wheels, and has a turning radius of only 1.75 metres. Weighing 70 kg, and with a wheelbase of 880 mm, this velomobile is meant for use on both public roads and bicycle paths.

Kjellman says that if the Podride – currently seeking crowdfunding – reaches mass production, the price would be between 2,000 to 3,000 euro (RM8,900 to RM13,400). What do you think? The Podride wouldn’t be very practical in Malaysian weather, but there might be some specialised applications for it. Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions.