It’s not quite a bicycle, and not quite a car — it’s a bicycle-car, and it’s called PodRide. At first glance, PodRide looks something like a very small and thin Smart Car, but under its fabric exterior lies a recumbent bicycle — as well as some technology including a 250 watt electric motor to assist with travel. This makes PodRide a little more sophisticated than your average bicycle, obviously more comfortable in the rain and snow, and still completely legal in most bicycle lanes.
PodRide features four wheels and, with the help of the electric motor, a top speed of about 15-miles-per-hour, and overall dimensions of 180cm x 75cm x 14cm; this makes the bike-car slim enough to fit in most bicycle lanes, but wide enough to comfortably accommodate the “driver.” The body itself is waterproof and the windshield is heated to help deal with snow and ice.
Given that PodRide’s creator Mikael Kjellman is located in Sweden, it’s not surprising the car has been outfitted with gear suitable for a winter climate. In addition to the heated windshield and waterproof shell are studded tires for wintery roads. Practically extends to the trunk, where there’s a bit of storage for items (groceries, perhaps). PodRide also features a tow bar for hauling a bicycle trailer.
Overall, the end result is a bicycle that has been outfitted with some of the conveniences of a car, only without the pollution and costs. Because the system uses regular electric bicycle components, it’ll likely be street legal in most countries, though licensing could be required in some places.
PodRide’s creator is seeking $30,000 in funding on Indiegogo, where things have just kicked off. A $500 USD pledge will go toward producing the bicycle-car, and will get backers the model at 15% off the planned retail price…assuming, of course, that it comes to market in the end.