Although velomobiles could generally be defined as recumbent tricycles enclosed in an aerodynamic shell, we're seeing an increasing number of more stability-oriented four-wheeled variants. One of the latest is the Pedilio, which could ultimately go as fast as 28 mph.
Created by German inventor Thomas Viebach, the single-passenger vehicle incorporates a 21-speed pedal-drive drivetrain going to its right rear wheel, along with a hub motor in its left rear wheel – the latter augments the rider's pedalling power.
Plans call for there to be two versions of this setup. One will incorporate a 250-watt motor to take riders up to a top electric-assist speed of 16 mph (25 km/h), while the other will have a 500-watt motor and a 28-mph (45-km/h) top speed. The second configuration will cause the Pedilio to be classified as a light motor vehicle (in Europe, at least), with riders requiring a driver's license.
Motor power is provided by a lithium-ion battery pack. In the 500-watt version of the velomobile, this provides a reported range of about 60 km (37 miles) per charge. A regenerative braking system helps boost that range, while rooftop solar panels allow for some battery-charging while the vehicle is parked. Additionally, buyers will be able to double the range by opting for a second battery.
With a powder-coated steel frame and a carbon fiber cabin, the current prototype tips the scales at about 68 kg (150 lb) and has a maximum payload capacity of 130 kg (287 lb). Some of its other features include independent suspension on all four of the 20-inch wheels, front and rear hydraulic disc brakes, and a full lighting system with turn indicators.
Viebach has started building an initial batch of 10 Pedilios, which will be used to obtain real-world feedback from their users. Once they're ready to go, these vehicles should sell for approximately €9,250 (about US$10,382). If you want to see one of them up-close and personal, some of the first examples should be on display next month at Germany's Spezi specialty bike show.
In the meantime, you can check out Thomas ripping around in the snow, in the video below.
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