The Norwegian firm Elpedal has introduced a new prototype e-bike. The so-called “Podbike” features four wheels, pedals, a drivers’ cab and a removable battery. The pedal-electric Podbike also features a dual-motor chainless setup, which has also been called a rolling chassis.
Up until recently, all images and concepts of the prototype have been rendered computer models, and the newly released physical model answers a number of prior questions.
While the vehicle has pedals, these are not used to propel the pod directly, but are linked to a generator. As the passenger pedals, the generated energy is passed on to hub motors attached to each rear wheel, which then power the wheels. The removable battery adds additional power, allowing the podbike to reach a top speed of up to 25 km/h.
If only the batteries are used, the range is expected to be around 60 km, however the modular nature of the bike allows for batteries to be swapped or added, giving the rider more flexibility.
The first batch of 12 vehicles will be released in Germany in April at the Spezi, the specialty bike show. A consumer model is expected to be available in Norway in 2019, and pricing is estimated to start around 4,500 euros. Currently there are no plans to release the quasi e-bike in the USA, as American legislation requires e-bikes to have a maximum of three wheels.