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.

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?

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