Without a doubt, cars have revolutionized the way we get from point A to point B, but they also have a few downsides in regard to sustainability. Most cars need to run on gasoline or diesel which creates toxic emissions. Bicycles are a great alternative for the environment, but they also have some drawbacks when it comes to practicality. Without weather protection, crash safety or the ability to go very fast, bikes aren’t always the first choice when it comes to commuting. While electric bikes help with uphill pedaling and velomobiles help with speed, most alternatives are still no match for cars.
Podbike was invented to help bridge the gap between bikes and cars. This innovation brings together the best of both worlds by creating a closed vehicle environment that combines human power with electric assistance. The design was made to offer the same comfort, safety, and ease as a car while keeping the health benefits of a bike. With a low environmental footprint, the design is a win-win for everyone.
Motivated by climate change issues, the creators of the Podbike made a velomobile design that would be environmentally friendly. Apart from minimizing noise, this vehicle also helps keep air pollution down. The Podbike reduces transportation emissions significantly more than electric or hybrid cars.
The designers also chose to use recyclable materials for the Podbike’s body and frame. The pieces were carefully selected to make sure the structure could be light but also strong enough to be safe. Shipping emissions can also be a concern when sending very large items like bikes. The Podbike can keep this to a minimum because the whole piece can ship in a compact form, similar to an IKEA piece.
In addition to being an eco-friendly ride, the Podbike also allows riders to get some exercise in a safe environment. If there is ever a collision, the protective zones of the pod can better handle a hit since they were built to absorb and distribute the energy from an impact. The design also includes electronic peripherals so riders can always keep an eye on their surroundings. For rainy days, the weatherproof canopy of the pod provides a roof and windscreen to keep the elements out. For allergy prone riders, the designers are planning to add an air filter option.
While safety is always a priority, comfort and practicality are important, too. Unlike a bike, the human-powered propulsion for the Podbike works without any complicated gears or greasy chains. Riders can control how much energy they want to use with the electric assist feature.
If you don’t have a lot of space to park a bike, the designers thought about that, too. This futuristic ride can sit upright to minimize parking space. To conveniently hop in and out of the vehicle, the seat can be raised automatically. Don’t want to leave junior behind? There’s also room for a child inside the cabin.
The Podbike will be hitting the streets of Norway in 2018. After it’s initial launch, it will become available in other countries as well depending on government restrictions for electric assisted bikes.