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 Velomobile: Car of the future?

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foreclosure352 Posted - 09/21/2009 : 03:14:42
are velomobiles the cars of the future? I don't think so, but understanding why might lead to positive changes in transportation.

In real life, the velomobiles are just as cool as they look in the photos. Probably the best thing I can compare them to is an upside-down fiberglass canoe meshed with an F-16 fighter jet riding atop a large, flattened, backwards tricycle. They're shiny and sleek, and look like they're moving even when standing still.

Another issue that must be addressed for velomobiles to succeed is the cost and the supply. One of the reasons they're so expensive right now is that they're made in such small quantities. The go-one3's manufacturer makes just three a month.
16   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
AbbieP Posted - 07/26/2016 : 03:21:11
I don't think it'll spread. It looks too expensive for what you get, ergo the demand will never be high enough to fuel mass production.
Jbippy Posted - 02/13/2016 : 05:00:47
I like the one in the photo above. Good for inclement weather. Also would work best, I think, in city traffic. Might even get some respect from cars. An urban vehicle, for sure.
adamlancaster Posted - 01/25/2016 : 06:04:24
Sorry, but give me a good old-fashioned bicycle. I can ride in in the snow, over dirt roads, and just generally maneuver it better than a velomobile. These things do look cool though.
kevintaylor Posted - 09/30/2014 : 00:12:48
In the technology world, the latest advancement is only as good as the next thing coming down the line. The auto industry is constantly bringing us new technologies, whether it be for safety, entertainment, usefulness or simply for pure innovation.
Many new car technologies are either specifically built for safety or at least have some sort of safety focus to them. Some of the latest car innovations we've found are some truly exciting technologies that could revolutionize not just the automotive industry but human transportation in general.Imagine approaching an intersection as another car runs a red light. You don't see them at first, but your car gets a signal from the other car that it's directly in your path and warns you of the potential collision, or even hits the brakes automatically to avoid an accident. A developing technology called Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication.



heatingwestlondon Posted - 10/11/2013 : 03:46:05
It is great because of its benefits.

7tronics Posted - 08/13/2013 : 12:30:37
As yet another entry into the velomobile fray, the US manufactured ELF is now in production after several dozen crowd-source funded early versions were shipped the past few months. This is more like a Ford model T roadster compared to the the sleek Belgian and German velomobiles. The ELF seems more like the old 1950s-1980s VW Beetle which became a very popular car to modify into dune buggies and the like.

At US$5000 starting price one could buy a family of very decent mountain bikes, even with electric assist. But, shipping one of the nice European velomobiles to the states would have set me back more than twice as much! My family has ridden in them and we ordered one because it is actually practical in our very rainy spring and fall weather in Central North Carolina (US). My spouse will use this for neighborhood tasks to the store which does not require traversing a major roadway.

What do others think of the OT ELF as a velomobile?
D Schroeder Posted - 11/15/2011 : 18:53:34
I personally think bicycles will be the vehicle of the future, and velomobiles may be more of a novelty thing.

I would agree based on current technology but the future human powered vehicle of choice may not be either but has a good chance of evolving from the best features of both.

The bike has affordability, and functionality but for all but experienced riders its best suited for short distances and quiet streets or bike paths and then mostly for fair weather commuting.

Velomobiles tend to be expensive and potentially hazardous for mixed traffic with automobiles but offer weather protection, ease of operation, are potentially suited for longer distances and faster travel times, are better adapted for cargo carrying and fit a larger assortment of riders.

Energy costs and consumer economics will be major factors in determining the evolution of practical human or human/hybrid powered vehicles.
Habbakuk Posted - 11/14/2011 : 18:44:46
With their current design, I feel they are still far from being the vehicle of the future. I personally think bicycles will be the vehicle of the future, and velomobiles may be more of a novelty thing.

lizhuberx3 Posted - 03/19/2011 : 02:21:11
Well its good that you think for the future. Velomobiles are in news these days but I think it would be quiet expensive.
alexsmth114 Posted - 03/02/2011 : 21:59:45
Looks like a fantastic car, definitely it's got the futuristic approach!!..
Titus Posted - 10/28/2010 : 08:27:31
Who wants to cooperate in an open source velomobile development? We are building the third prototype now. I'm searching people that are willing to build the next proto. See http://plywoodvelomobile.blogspot.com/
Lance7_q Posted - 08/08/2010 : 21:49:35
You already have the brochuer of future cars?
May I see?
Lets see if those cars are accepted in the public.
Lets see if it is acceptable in all country?
How much is it?

Don S Posted - 11/16/2009 : 21:27:41

Probably more velomobiles are manufactured as tricycles than as bicycles but Wikipedia defines them fairly well:
A velomobile or bicycle car is a human-powered vehicle, enclosed for aerodynamic advantage and protection from weather and collisions.

Human power is usually applied by pedaling similar to a person riding a bicycle but there are other ways of doing it.

There are also hybrid velomobiles that use small battery powered electric assist motors but I don't know if they are made commercially.

leejane30 Posted - 11/16/2009 : 00:23:30
what makes velomobile run?
i mean, does it also use fossil fuel to run?

Don S Posted - 10/15/2009 : 20:13:55
Would a VM with a wider than normal wheel track be too much to ask? Why is it that all currently produced VMs are so narrow?

The answer to your questions may be aerodynamics. A wider vehicle will have more drag so while you the current models are narrow they are generally wider than 2 wheeled vehicles and travel at slower speeds for the same rider power output.

Making them wider would either make them slower or require more power to go the same speed.


Designer/builder Spectre and Specter II.

"it's important to understand what makes them fast. It's more important to understand what keeps them from going faster." DS
Trike_Cyclist Posted - 09/29/2009 : 13:28:40
I agree, velomobiles (VM) could be the cars of the future except for the price and availability. I have been trying to figure out how to enclose my Catrike Pocket or just build my own recumbent trike/VM. I want something with all weather protection, good visibility for cage driver protection, not to heavy for ease of commuting, and possibly electric assist. Would a VM with a wider than normal wheel track be too much to ask? Why is it that all currently produced VMs are so narrow? Any thoughts from anyone are welcome.

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