Urban Transport

Veemo velomobile could be yours to use, for 28 cents a minute

A fully-functioning Veemo prototype
A fully-functioning Veemo prototype
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The Veemo is what's known as a velomobile – a tricycle enclosed in an aerodynamic body that provides protection from the elements
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The Veemo is what's known as a velomobile – a tricycle enclosed in an aerodynamic body that provides protection from the elements
Although users do pedal the Veemo, their pedalling power is augmented by a built-in electric motor, taking the trike up to an electronically-limited top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h)
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Although users do pedal the Veemo, their pedalling power is augmented by a built-in electric motor, taking the trike up to an electronically-limited top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h)
Because the Veemo is enclosed, riders don't need to wear a helmet or much in the way of cold/wet-weather clothing
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Because the Veemo is enclosed, riders don't need to wear a helmet or much in the way of cold/wet-weather clothing
A fully-functioning Veemo prototype
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A fully-functioning Veemo prototype
The Veemo's electric-assist feature means that users aren't likely to work up much of a sweat while using it, so they don't need to plan on changing clothes upon reaching their destination
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The Veemo's electric-assist feature means that users aren't likely to work up much of a sweat while using it, so they don't need to plan on changing clothes upon reaching their destination
The Veemo has a composite monocoque body with integrated crumple zones, and an aluminum composite sandwich frame
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The Veemo has a composite monocoque body with integrated crumple zones, and an aluminum composite sandwich frame
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The Veemo has an automatic transmission (including a reverse gear), hydraulic disc brakes, and a full LED lighting system
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The Veemo has an automatic transmission (including a reverse gear), hydraulic disc brakes, and a full LED lighting system
The target weight of the final client-ready version of the Veemo is 120 kg (265 lb)
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The target weight of the final client-ready version of the Veemo is 120 kg (265 lb)

While bicycle-sharing services can come in very handy, not everyone wants to pedal a bike everywhere they go. Car-sharing co-ops are certainly one alternative, although they require users to have a driver's license. That's where VeloMetro comes into the picture. The Vancouver-based startup is developing a point-to-point service that will allow users to rent a sort of e-bike/car hybrid, known as the Veemo.

"There have been studies that have shown that up to 60 percent of a city's population would like to cycle more, but they don't for reasons such as not wanting to get into cycling attire, not wanting to wear a helmet, or worrying about their bike getting stolen," VeloMetro co-founder Kody Baker tells us. "We've designed a vehicle and a service that addresses all of those issues."

The Veemo is what's known as a velomobile – a tricycle enclosed in an aerodynamic body that provides protection from the elements. Although users do pedal it, their pedalling power is augmented by a built-in electric motor, taking the trike up to an electronically-limited top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). If that top end were any higher, the Veemo would be classified as a motor vehicle, and users would require a license.

Because it's enclosed, riders don't need to wear a helmet or much in the way of cold/wet-weather clothing. The electric-assist feature also means that they're not likely to work up much of a sweat while using it, so they don't need to plan on changing clothes upon reaching their destination. That said, fitness-conscious users can choose to have the motor provide a lower amount of assistance for more of a workout.

Other features of the vehicle include a composite monocoque body with integrated crumple zones, an aluminum composite sandwich frame, an automatic transmission (including a reverse gear), hydraulic disc brakes, and a full LED lighting system. The target weight of the final client-ready version is 120 kg (265 lb), and its lithium battery pack should have a range of about 100 km (62 miles) per charge.

The Veemo has an automatic transmission (including a reverse gear), hydraulic disc brakes, and a full LED lighting system
The Veemo has an automatic transmission (including a reverse gear), hydraulic disc brakes, and a full LED lighting system

To make the sharing service as simple as possible, users won't need to opt into any sort of ongoing membership. Instead, they'll just use their smartphone to sign a Veemo out from a nearby VeloMetro lot (on a major credit card), when and wherever needed. As they near their destination, an internet-connected dashboard tablet will show them the locations of motorcycle parking spots close by, along with other drop-off locations.

All told, plans call for users to pay a flat rate of CAD$0.28 (currently about US$0.20) per minute.

"We're working with the City of Vancouver to get a few vehicles in with their private city staff fleet, so they're going to be our early beta testers," says Baker. "Then we'll have a pilot fleet out at the University of British Columbia, for students and staff to ride around campus."

The first Veemo-sharing service for the general public should subsequently be rolled out in Vancouver sometime next year, with other Pacific Northwest cities to follow soon after. And if you want a Veemo of your own, there are plans for individual sales to commence sometime in the future.

Source: VeloMetro

8 comments
LordInsidious
Nice. More options and a much better looking velomobile from the original!
Chizzy
I want a 2 seater 3 wheeled 65 mph 200 mile range electric vehicle, I'd be willing to settle for 100 mile range with a 2 hour recharge time. I'm not interested in pedaling, and I need room for the wife, or groceries, not both. it also needs to be available today, and under 10k for 200 mi range.
AussieJohn
Rent it for 4 hours at that minute price, and you can have a rental car for 24 hours. Ok you have to pay for the fuel but if you did the same mileage as you did on the velomobile, then you hardly used any fuel. Because of the mass production of motor vehicles, these alternatives with their low production volumes will be difficult to compete pricewise.
Daishi
@Chizzy I don't think you can even find a gas powered motorcycle that meets all of those specifications. I don't expect to see electric vehicles to hit those specs really ever because of inflation. Aricmoto SRK is the closest I know if but it's not available today and it's still way short of your requirements at $12k for the 70 mile version before about $1,200 in tax incentives. Your best option is probably to buy used. The Nissan Leaf has low resale value in part because the tax credits are applied at purchase and as such you can buy one 3-4 years old for $7k - $8k. You might be able to find similar deals on other "compliance" EV's like the Spark EV as well. Depending where you are you can lease a Spark EV for nearly peanuts as some state incentives still apply if you lease. People in CA figured out their Spark leases cost them about $75/month after the tax credit. Maybe when the lease is up in 3 years the market will look more promising for EV's.
HarryLieben
This is not a velomobile. It's one thing that you can put an electric engine in a velomobile, but this contraption is simply way too heavy and un-aerodnamic to do without a heavy motor (heavy in bicycle terms) . The beauty of the velomobile is it's efficiency with human power alone. I easily go beyond this things' speed for many hours with only my own muscles, water and a few bananas. Think of some other name. This is NOT a velomobile.
Island Architect
Once again with such a narrow wheelbase up front, Bill Allison would be beside himself with warnings of stability. And with no fender skirts expect mud all over the side of your vehicle. bill
unklmurray
Who gives a bunch of feces about mud on the side of your vehicle that is what rain is for and if you wax it once in a while the mud won't stick I ride one of my own design and the only reason mine is so tall is to be seen......the two wheels in front make it stable enough for side winds to not bother you.....If it is that windy out you shouldn't be driving in it anyway......I like it but the price is too outrageous for me......And.....Chizzy... Please build us one to show us that there is more to you that just a FECES TALKING PILE OF FECES!!......LOL :-)=
GurmanSidhu
please make this a two seater with space for groceries like the Elf by organic transit. That is the only problem I have it and I had multiple problems with the elf such as it being open from the bottom so puddles will make your clothes wet, open from sides so not full protection, also the seats are so crappy for the price your paying there like thin barbeque chairs I want seats like a car, then theres the tires, they need no be really wide like a motorcycle so they can withstand bumps, snow, rain, holes, and not tilt. Also why not throw in some cool features like a steering wheel, heating/ac, music system with fm radio and auxillary input, cupholders, windshields, security system hydralic disc brakes, seat reclining, battery and speed display, etc. Thanks for offering such a cool new transportation method for people like me who dont have a license.