Although the Segway died this week (the last one was scheduled to be built on July 15), new ideas for electrically powered personal transport abound.
Take the pedal car, for instance. If Norway’s CityQ company has its way, the pedal car will make a comeback, although modern battery assistance will make the job of actually pedalling a lot easier.
The pitch is that the CityQ is an “e-bike with car capabilities”. It’s just 87cm wide, not much more than the handlebars on a standard bicycle, but capable of carrying two adults, or one adult and two children, and/or luggage, while offering weather protection. With a 250-watt motor and a top assisted speed of 25km/h, it is classified as a bicycle in Europe (and potentially here). The gears are automatic, while two large batteries allow it to travel for up to 100km between charges.
CityQ says 70 per cent of commuters don’t use their bikes in rain or frost (frequent issues in this part of the world!), so a new class of vehicle is needed. Company founder Morten Rynning told us via email the CityQ will be on sale in 2021 at something above €6400 (about $10,400).
Equally intriguing is a new e-bike that claims to bring motor scooter practicality to the treadly. As well as having electric assistance, the Model 1, from American start-up Civilized Cycles, has a passenger seat and suspension that can be adjusted with the push of a button to compensate for the total load (up to 180kg).
Australia wasn’t really on our radar until we started getting a flood of requests as our website started to get discovered.
— Zachary Schieffelin, Civilized Cycles
Company founder Zachary Schieffelin took inspiration from Vespas and Dutch cruising bikes. The expanding carbon-fibre panniers provide up to 80 litres of storage, so it’s the e-bike you can take shopping – as long as you aren’t going to Ikea. The range can be adjusted according to how many batteries you want to carry.
Schieffelin says the Model 1, with up to 750 watts, could be limited by software to comply with our 250-watt power limit. “But if Australia requires a hardware limit, we may need some further development. It’s probably safe to say it will be at least a year before we can export.
“To be honest, Australia wasn’t really on our radar until we started getting a flood of requests as our website started to get discovered,” he adds.
The first American deliveries are scheduled for next month, priced from $US4000 (about $5800).
NEED TO KNOW
For more information, check out the CityQ website, and Civilized Cycles.