Bicycles

One-of-a-kind electric velomobile could be yours

One-of-a-kind electric velomob...
Designer Michael White's daughter drives the MaxxVelo
Designer Michael White's daughter drives the MaxxVelo
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Designer Michael White's daughter drives the MaxxVelo
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Designer Michael White's daughter drives the MaxxVelo
It has a retractable canopy
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It has a retractable canopy
A view of the frame, before the aluminum panels were applied
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A view of the frame, before the aluminum panels were applied
It has a 1,200-watt hub motor in its rear wheel, which is powered by a 48-volt 20-Ah lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack located beneath the seat
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It has a 1,200-watt hub motor in its rear wheel, which is powered by a 48-volt 20-Ah lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack located beneath the seat
The vehicle also has a 7-speed rear derailleur, rear-view mirrors, and a bit of cargo space
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The vehicle also has a 7-speed rear derailleur, rear-view mirrors, and a bit of cargo space
The aluminum panels are installed
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The aluminum panels are installed
View gallery - 6 images

If you happen to be at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, you may see a rather unusual vehicle on the road. It's an all-aluminum fully-enclosed electric-assist MaxxVelo velomobile, built by Austin's Michael White. Although it was originally meant to be the first in a line of commercially-produced velomobiles, it ended up being the only one of its kind ... and now, you can buy it.

The MaxxVelo frame is made from bent 5052 aluminum tubing, covered with riveted aluminum-sheet body panels. Its retractable canopy features a Lexan windshield.

Riders can propel it by pedal power only, by throttle only, or by electric-assist pedaling. It has a 1,200-watt hub motor in its rear wheel, which is powered by a 48-volt 20-Ah lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack located beneath the seat. The vehicle also has a 7-speed rear derailleur, rear-view mirrors, and a bit of cargo space.

It has a retractable canopy
It has a retractable canopy

Despite its weight of approximately 123 lb (56 kg), it still manages a range of around 27 miles (44 km), depending on how much pedaling you do. Its top speed in throttle-only mode is about 30 mph (48 km/h) – buyers might want to consider getting that lowered, if they don't want to be required to register it as a motor vehicle.

So, why aren't there going to be more MaxxVelos? "I built one and I'm done," said White. "It's just too much work."

If you like the looks of it, it can be yours now for US$4,900 via the first link below. That may sound like a lot, but it's actually toward the lower end of similar vehicles that we've covered before ... and doesn't it look funky?

Sources: Craig's List, MaxxVelo

View gallery - 6 images
7 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really neat.
Milton
OH man.... so AWESOME! Seems like a steal at that price.
The Skud
I wonder if he would licence (or just sell plans) for the chassis / electrics and let the customers build a body to suit their needs? I could envisage heat shaped thermo-plastic or fibreglass, possibly much easier and cheaper than hand shaping aluminium,
Germano Pecoraro Designer
Very interesting, nice
Stuart Wilshaw
To produce in quantity the design needs optimising for volume production.
jstack6
the ELF from Organic Transit is similar but much nicer to ride and a longer range. With it's roof top solar panel it can recharge itself too.
Bill Babcock
Solar charging for something with that small a roof area is just silly. I built a similar trike without a body. I'll probably build a body this year, just for fun. The biggest issue is weight--mine is currently 70 pounds with two 48V, 40AH LiFe batteries and no body. That means you can't toss it into a truck by yourself, if it runs out of juice you can't pedal it home--or at least I can't. I based mine on a Cattrike and used a mid-drive motor. I think my open trike is a little higher spec than this--1200 watt mid drive vs. hub motor, two speed heel shift front hub, nuvinci rear hub. I can hit 40mph on the flats and I've done a century run up Mt. Hood with it, though I needed to recharge for the last 20 miles. If I stayed on the flats I think it would do a hundred miles, but where's the fun in that.
The asking price is great, I probably have $4K in mine without the body. But I think anyone that was actually using it (as I do mine) would be spending money upgrading some stuff. Maybe not. Doesn't look like I has any suspension, mine doesn't either. And you'd think something that distinctive would be highly visible, but the number of times I've been cut off by clueless motorists indicates not. I have a huge flag on mine.