A Vancouver, Canada-based startup has created a fully enclosed three wheel pedal car with an electric motor. The company, VeloMetro, calls the hybrid tricycle car the “Veemo.” The Veemo prototype features a monocoque body with integrated crumple zones that incorporate composite sandwich structures. The target weight of the final client-ready version is 120 kg (265 lbs).
The vehicle is part of the company’s plan to improve bike sharing services in Vancouver. In an area like Vancouver, which gets a lot of rain and snow, biking can be unpleasant, so VeloMetro sought to create something that offers the safety and convenience of a car, as well as the option to pedal.
“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 said. “We’ve designed a vehicle and a service that addresses all of those issues.”
VeloMetro envisions its hybrid vehicle being part of a wider sharing program, with customers paying only 20 cents per minute to use it. Baker says there will not be a membership requirement. Instead, drivers will use their smartphone to sign out a Veemo from a nearby VeloMetro lot using a major credit card whenever they need one. As riders approach their destination, an internet-connected tablet will show them the nearest motorcycle parking spots.
“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 is on pace to start in Vancouver next year, and may expand to other Pacific Northwest cities shortly afterward.