Urban Transport

First full prototype of pedal-electric Podbike unveiled in Norway

First full prototype of pedal-...
The Podbike T0, onstage at The Science Factory on Jan. 26th
The Podbike T0, onstage at The Science Factory on Jan. 26th
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The Podbike T0 arrives at the venue
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The Podbike T0 arrives at the venue
The Podbike T0 is the first in a batch of 12 test vehicles (called the 0-series) that are planned to be built within the next three to four months
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The Podbike T0 is the first in a batch of 12 test vehicles (called the 0-series) that are planned to be built within the next three to four months
Company founder/CEO Per Hassel Sørensen introduces the Pobike T0
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Company founder/CEO Per Hassel Sørensen introduces the Pobike T0
The Podbike T0, onstage at The Science Factory on Jan. 26th
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The Podbike T0, onstage at The Science Factory on Jan. 26th
Ten 0-series Podbikes will be taking to Norwegian roads, being evaluated by test riders who will pass their observations along to the development team
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Ten 0-series Podbikes will be taking to Norwegian roads, being evaluated by test riders who will pass their observations along to the development team
Company founder/CEO Per Hassel Sørensen, in the Podbike T0
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Company founder/CEO Per Hassel Sørensen, in the Podbike T0
Opening the hinged canopy of the Podbike T0
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Opening the hinged canopy of the Podbike T0
View gallery - 7 images

It was last November that we first heard about the Podbike, a dual-motor chainless velomobile being developed by Norwegian firm Elpedal. At the time, it only existed as a rolling chassis – all of the images of the complete vehicle were computer renderings. Recently, however, the first complete prototype was presented at an event in Sandnes, Norway.

To recap our previous coverage, the Podbike is a four-wheeled human/electric-powered vehicle that does have pedals, but they're linked directly to a generator. As the rider pedals, the power that they generate is electrically transferred to a couple of hub motors – one in each of the rear wheels. A removable battery pack adds some additional power, making an electronically-limited top speed of 25 km/h (16 mph) possible.

Battery range sits at an estimated 60 km (37 miles) – or longer, if extra batteries are added in parallel. In its final commercial form, the vehicle should weigh about 40 to 50 kg (88 to 110 lb) with a single battery.

Company founder/CEO Per Hassel Sørensen, in the Podbike T0
Company founder/CEO Per Hassel Sørensen, in the Podbike T0

Known as the T0, the prototype that was unveiled on Jan. 26th is the first in a batch of 12 test vehicles (called the 0-series) that are planned to be built within the next three to four months. Ten of those will be taking to Norwegian roads, being evaluated by test riders who will pass their observations along to the development team.

The official European launch of the 0-series will take place on April 28th, at Germany's Spezi specialty bike show.

Plans still call for a consumer model to be available in Norway by early 2019, with availability elsewhere in Europe starting in 2020. Pricing is estimated at NOK 50,000 (about US$6,327) in Norway – including VAT and local sales tax –and about €4,500 ($5,515) plus tax and shipping in other European markets. There are currently no plans for a North American release, as American legislation limits e-bikes to having no more than three wheels.

If you're interested in getting one, you can pre-order via the link below.

Source: Podbike

View gallery - 7 images
12 comments
shopoutlet
Nice looking, Very slow, Would like to see a small dashboard with things like a speedometer, maybe a little radio. I didn't see any vents or way to open or take off canopy for rides. Without some kind of fresh air - I think someone would be very hot in the summer.
venca
With such streamlined design, the top speed is ridicule. For 25km/h you don't need 4 wheels and aerodynamic car bodywork.
Tom Swift
quick estimate is 12% of your pedal power input is lost in the generator and motor.
Johannes
Surely 40 or 50 km/h would be a more appropriate top speed for a vehicle with the engineering input this one has had. Why capture the pedal power only to transport the user slower than if they were on a bicycle?
Helios
plenty of range for a 3 season commuter, scrap the pedals for flexible solar panels instead, pedalling provides negligible power and no incentive other than charging, it won't increase speed. Agree with others about canopy and wheels too. Make it 3 wheels with tilt steering, reduce clear canopy area to reduce solar gain and vaporware with canopy, pictures show two men opening canopy for rider? Where do you stash the men when you ride? I'm still waiting for the perfect velo...
TomKvalvagnes
The 25km/h limit is bec of regulations - to go as a bike- no need for licence - can go in parks - pavements - regulated forests etc - its legally a bicycle and thats give lots of advantages. Many special lanes etc. You can pedall it as fast as you can manage - 120km/h if you can - but then the electric assist wont work its the human power. The electric power will not work without pedalling - thats also rules - and max push it to 25. It has many possibilities for ventilation and can even go as a roadster.
EcoLogical
Great looking 'bike' !
America should change 'bicycle' regulations to allow 4-wheel eBike if speed is limited to 25 km/h.
Bone Machine
$6,300 will buy a decent used car or a lot of Uber rides. Lose the expensive molded plastic and replace it with canvas. As one poster stated, it doesn't require an aerodynamic shape because of the low speed. So, square the body and make it easier to manufacture. Build it for Fred Flintstone rather than George Jetson. Get the price under $2K and watch the sales increase.
venca
TomKvalvagnes: you cannot pedal it as you can, because there's no direct transmission, the energy goes into battery first. So the sluggish slowness of this vehicle uttermost limit.
Fast and light road bike (optionally with electric conversion) is by my opinion far better solution for eco commuting.
Future3000
Wow, a 21st Century copy of the legenday Sinclair C5, with windshield now, cheap 6.000 US$ 2018 vs. expensive 2.000 US$ 1985.... what can go wrong? I loved my C5, we used it as "personal carrier" at our University campus and buildings, Very nice, died 1989!