Swedish design engineer Mikael Kjellman loves to bicycle to work but Sweden isn't always bike friendly. In some areas of the country, snow falls from October all the way through May, making for a rough ride. So Kjellman came up with a solution: PodRide, a velomobile or bicycle-car that can travel in all weather and over just about any terrain.
PodRide is a bicycle with four wheels covered by waterproof fabric, designed to look almost like a real car. It’s narrow enough to drive on a bike path, but as tall as small cars so it’s safe to drive on the roads. It navigates curves with ease, even on ice or snow, as Kjellman demonstrated in a video. It’s equipped with studded tires, a little trunk, heated windshield, and a seat with back support, giving the rider nearly all the comforts of a car without the carbon emissions. It also has a tow bar to hook up a bike trailer, so you can haul extra things or take the kids along.
The PodRide is outfitted with an electric bike motor so drivers can reach up to 15.5 miles per hour and can keep going for about 37 miles.
“I have driven it to work every day for a year now and it has proven to be a very practical and comfortable little vehicle,” Kjellman said.
He launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to spread his idea, and with 22 days to go, he’s at 94 percent of his $30,000 goal. With the money, he would create a kit so people could assemble their own PodRides.
“Bicycle Cars are practical, good for your health, cheap to run, good for the environment, and fun to drive,” said Kjellman. “They require no new and advanced technology to work and they would not cost much if they were mass-produced.”
While he noted there are other velomobiles on the market, not many ride them, and he believes PodRides could be more accessible and appealing to more people. You can contribute to the campaign here.
Images via screenshot