Are they bicycles? Are they automobiles? The answer: a bit of both.
One promising transportation trend is hybrid cycles that use the technology of small electric motor vehicles. The hybrids don’t have chains – instead, the power generated by pedaling goes straight into a battery – or gears. As a result, the hybrids are better suited to transporting heavier payloads, up to 200 kilos, and need less maintenance. They also have four wheels and drive more like ultra-compact cars.
One company bringing such hybrids to the streets is Munich’s Biohybrid, whose founders come from the automotive-parts-manufacturing sector. It hopes to enter serial production before the end of the year.
Berlin’s citkar is even further along. It’s been producing its “Loadster” vehicles since April and hope to soon be delivering 160 a week. The Loadster was a 2019 winner of the coveted German Design Award as well as numerous other prizes.