OK, they call it a comeback because the electric velomobile did not really gain ground back in the 1980s. Was it truly a failure? Well, during that time, many people thought that the Sinclair C5 was not ready to be accepted by many when car ownership was deemed most convenient for many. However, times have changed and now the three-wheeled electric velomobile is finding its place in today’s era of personal electric mobility. While it was perceived as a mobile that was ahead of its time 30 years ago, another company trying to make it in the industry of electric mobility is now finding its own set of investors to make the electric velomobile a viable option for daily transport.
Meet the Cabriovelo Project
The last 30 years have been immensely important for the developers of the newest electric velomobile that will soon be available on the mass market – the Cabriovelo. As an improved version of the former Sinclair C-5, this novel electric velomobile is about to change all what has been said about it three decades ago. What does the new Cabriovelo Project entail?
At a glance, the new Cabriovelo project has a straightforward mission and that is to provide a more versatible electric and pedal-capable bicycle-car. The team behind the latest electric velomobile aims to produce this personal mobility ride at a more affordable price in the effort to make it readily available to those who need another ride option. It is also a multi-purpose mobile which means it can transport people, groceries, or anything that is heavy to be carried around manually. In short, the electric velomobile can serve as a ‘second car’ without the expenses. It is also to be designed suitable for any weather condition.
People at the Cabriovelo Project also acknowledge that any human powered (or pedaled) vehicle continue to be a healthier means of transport, and this is why the electric velomobile still has the option for manual driving. Furthermore, such option also enables riders to have a fun commute using this electric velomobile. Moreover, it also offers a cheaper way to own a second mobile and it does not contribute to the existing pollution. With all these goals in mind, the people behind the project are now hoping to find more investors so as to be able to mass produce the vehicle and make it a truly affordable electric vehicle option.
The main concept of the ride is to make convertible and applicable to any type of weather or season – from the coldest winter to the hottest summer. It is likewise equipped with easy access feature, electric resistance, and regress capabilities. This electric velomobile is also built to have sufficient space for cargo and to allow comfortable seating for passengers. The large trunk also makes it easy to load anything. The versatility of this electric velomobile makes it an excellent option to be used to transport children as a child seat can also be installed in it. The practical aspect of this mobile makes it a highly versatile option for overall transport means.
The Features of this Electric Velomobile
At first glance, the most noticeable differences between the two electric velomobiles are the roof that the Cabriovelo has. This makes it a viable transport option eve during rainfall or snowfall. As it is convertible, it makes it easy to be used under any weather condition. Yes, it is weather-proof and there is no need to use different transport mode just to keep you dry or warm. Young passengers also get protected from the rain, snow, extreme heat of the sun while riding this electric velomoble. Just like a regular car, it also comes with a windshield to boost visibility during the time of extreme weather condition. The interior is also designed to be well-ventilated at all times.
One of the major differences between the former Sinclair C-5 and the Cabriovelo in the presence of the Lithium Ion. In the past, lead-acid batteries were used. The change in the battery system enables the users to enjoy longer and faster rides without hurting the battery life and quality. Recharging is also made more convenient as it only takes a few hours to completely replenish the energy used.
In the past, the C5 was only able to go for 30 km to its maximum range. The pedelec mode of this electric velomobile can go as far as 100 km with the help of power provided by its 400Wh battery system. However, another option to be offered by the team is to make an electric velomobile that can be powered by a 250W motor. This is to ensure that this electric velomobile can be used in Europe legally without having to obtain any license.
A Quick History of Cabriovelo
Velomobiles are typically recumbent tricycles that are built with an aerodynamic fairing closure. The roof and the side enclosures can be folded when deemed unnecessary for use. The original Cabriovelo was developed by Christian Wagner, a German inventor. He was assisted by Juergen Mayerle, his colleague, in completing the design and styling. During that time, the project was put to a halt and it did not go a step further than the prototype production. That all changed when an Italian mechanical engineer by the name of David De Regibus continued on the project. His goal is to commercially produce this electric velomobile in Italy.
The form has in changed in terms of the overall vision. The current electric velomobile or the Cabriovelo weighs only about 45 kilograms. It is also possible to seek for a lighter version with the use of carbon fiber as the main material for the fairing. This electric velomobile also comes with a full lighting system that includes indicators, on top of its stable side enclosures or panels and the roof. At the rear, an optional cargo compartment can also be added which can accommodate as much as 200 liters of weight and space requirement.
Other additional features include an electric wiper, a T-bar steering, loop wheels, and a joystick. What makes this electric velomobile interesting is that users can also request certain upgrades in the gearing to cater to their own needs. Such flexibility is a big plus since users have different uses in getting a velomobile. One of the options that you can request in your own electric velomobile is the additional 250-watt hub motor installed in the front wheel. The additional motor offers bigger power that most three-wheel vehicles have. When in full throttle mode, this electric velomobile can go as far as 100 kilometers.
The Launch of a Crowdfunding
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched by the team at Velobenaco in order to finance the mass production which could be an essential key in making the latest electric velomobile affordable for the mass market. The potential retail price is at around $4300 and the pledges will be used to meet the financial pricing goals. As for the shipping, the team targets May of 2017. It was also recently revealed tat another top version of this electric velomobile is also being produced exclusively for UK clients. This would bear the name WeatherVelo.
With the idea of considering weather-proofing into the design, this electric velometer can very well be an excellent option for personal mobility, just like today’s self-balancing scooters, e-bikes, or electric scooters. The entire concept is also an excellent alternative to electric cargo bikes as well as it as sufficient space for any type of load. Sinclair C5 may have had an unsuccessful run in the past. However, the latest electric velomobile or Cabriovelo is expected to get off the ground given the demand and need for personal mobility. The design, as well as the purpose, can certainly make this electronic velomobile one of the hottest electric vehicles to watch out for.