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.
As mentioned in our previous coverage, the Pedalist is essentially a tadpole-style trike (two wheels in the front) with a full lighting system and a polycarbonate body that provides protection from the elements along with a reduction in wind drag. It also has an electric motor, to help propel its target weight of 150 to 200 lb (68 to 91 kg).
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Virtue now says that the capacity of that motor will be 750 watts, and that it will be powered by a 48-volt 32-amp lithium-ion battery pack. It should have a motor-only range of over 50 miles (80 km), and an electronically-limited top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) in the US. Along with the motor-only throttle mode, users will also be able to extend its range by not using the motor at all, or using it to augment their pedaling power.
Riders will be able to fit an adult passenger in a seat behind theirs, plus there will be space in the front cargo compartment for a toddler in an approved bicycle child seat.
Other features include an 8-speed hub transmission, disc brakes, magnesium wheels, and a 35-inch (89-cm) width that should allow it to fit in bicycle lanes and go through owners' doorways.
Interested parties can now pledge US$3,999 to receive a full motor-equipped Pedalist of their own, when and if they reach production. Planned retail pricing starts at $4,499, with a non-electric version going for $3,499 (or $2,999 via Kickstarter).View gallery - 9 images