A Swedish Inventor’s “Bicycle-Car” Could Be the Winter Riding Solution

The PodRide is a recumbent e-bike disguised as a tiny car.

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We all know bicycling is great for your health, great for your wallet, and most of the time, a lot of fun. But for those of us who reside in winter climates, bicycling through the colder months can admittedly be a little daunting. For many, the cold wind, sleet, and snow can be enough of a deterrent to cycling that they give up on riding altogether come winter, and trade in their bike for the relative comfort of a car.

Not willing to be bested by the weather, one Swedish inventor has come up with an ingenious prototype that he believes could be the solution for year-round cycling in cold climates. Mikael Kjellman’s PodRide is a four-wheeled “bicycle-car” that offers users the benefits of cycling without the unwanted exposure to the elements.

“The basic idea with PodRide is to have a greater protected and more comfortable bicycle,” Kjellman explains in his crowdfunding video. The machine essentially looks like a tiny car that just drove off of the set of a Dr. Seuss film, but open it up and you’ll find a recumbent e-bike for one. It has a top speed of 25km/h (15.5 mi/h) with the electric-assist on, making it a street legal e-bike in Sweden, as well as most other countries. The tiny little bike-car has a tight turning radius, making it viable for protected bike lanes and other space-cramped urban environments, and has a range of around 60 km (37 miles). It has electric drive on both rear wheels and a wide gear range so almost any rider can pedal it up a hill.

The PodRide takes the benefits of a bike but adds on the creature comforts of cruising around in an automobile. It seats the rider at the same height as a standard sedan, increasing cyclists’ visibility when navigating traffic. It has a small trunk to tuck away a few bags of groceries, and rear hitches to attach trailers if you want to bring your children or extra cargo along. The seat is padded and in a recumbent position, and steering is controlled by joysticks on either side, with integrated braking handles. It seems as though Kjellman overlooked very few details in the design of this unusual machine. A sunshade and windshield wipers improve visibility in any weather, ventilation slats and windows offer a cool breeze in the summer, and a small electric heater defrosts the windows when it is parked outside in the winter. The PodRide also has headlights and turn signals.

“I put a lot of effort into making it practical, but it has also been really fun to drive,” Kjellman explained.

At the moment, Kjellman is currently trying to raise the $30,000 needed to make the PodRide a reality. He acknowledges that his first model is just a prototype, but after a year’s commuting in the little bicycle-car, he’s confident it will work out for others as well as it has worked out for him.

While the e-bike disguised as a car may seem a little silly for riders in more temperate climates, winter is a very real and persistent barrier for many potential bike commuters in the colder parts of the world. A bicycle which is able to keep the elements at bay might just be the solution many are looking for. Either way, we admire Kjellman’s creativity and ingenuity, and wish him all the best in his endeavor.

To learn more about the PodRide, visit Kjellman’s IndieGogo page.

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40 Comments

  • Sheila D Clark

    Are they available for purchase?

  • FLAVIA CABBOI

    Salve. In ITALIA c’è qualche rivenditore? Quanto costerebbe in euro? Sarei interessata, grazie

  • Corinne Ward-Blower

    I would buy one, if the price is right.

  • Peter

    How much does it cost from Australia

  • It’s more than a car

  • Hello from Turkey. We are interested in your product ,bicycle car, to sell in Turkey. If you consider getting in Turkey market please fell free to confirm us.

  • Tyce

    Very interested, I would definitely buy this !!!!
    Long Creek IL. USA

  • larry guillot

    Love the bicycle car. I’m afraid they’d find me frozen stiff, with fist clinched to steering wheel along tge road somewhere in Canada by the time I could get it stopped

  • jesse stulce

    I want one of these

  • Xave

    Hi, I love this. I want one for Australia. Are they in production yet?

  • Brenda Bierd

    Love it, would like to own one of Michael’s Bike-car

  • Christopher Adams

    I will definitely buy a bicycle car if it had doors to keep mosquitoes off me and lockable doors please get this made I will tell every person i know and many many strangers!!!!

  • Richard

    There is a fellow here on Gabriola Island who has a 3 wheel version of this bike ! I am envious ! This little sucker will cost a bundle. But wow !

  • Ben Patience

    Doesn’t have the speed of a regular car, & it can’t be maneuvered like a bike (I.e on sidewalks or the wrong way on a one-way street) maybe it’s the worst of both? Not sure what the advantages of it are over say a bakfiets with electric assist…….I have one (not with electric assist) & it’s a beast, I can’t ride it on the sidewalk & I am sometimes not able to lock it up at regular bike racks.

  • Ben Patience

    Curious about parking, registration, etc…..Will I be able to park it at a bike rack, or will I have to use a regular parking space? Also certain US states might require this thing to be registered with plates, etc..

  • Roy

    “It seats the rider at the same height as a standard sedan, increasing cyclists’ visibility when navigating traffic.”
    That is actually not true. The eyes of most cyclists on conventional bikes will be about 1-2 feet higher than drivers of a standard sedan, which is very important – it allows us to see over them. One major drawback to most recumbent is that their lower positions -decrease- visibility.

  • Suzanne Gagnon

    Having a sales back ground most of my life I would like to learn more about this to see if it is feasible for the seniors who are living longer and taking better care of themselves.
    Many Americans would do well to get out and exercise more.
    I live in Vermont and this would be ideal. I would get rid of my auto so quick.

  • this Bicycle Car cost 76.365 dollars? Why so high? It dont even go fast like Ferrari!

  • Lizzie copeland

    I live near Yosemite and spend a lot of time out doors and this amazing bike would be perfect for here

  • Will the pod bike be available to pur has in the near future?

  • Grant

    Great job. I have seen 4 wheel bikes used in Toronto but they were not electric nor had doors.
    E-bikes, which are powerful with 72 volt battery Lithium 11 Ah, are $3,500 or more.
    A Nissan Micra is under $10,000. Its a hard sell $10,000 – $15,000 E-motorcycles like Zero.
    If you can make money selling it under $7,000, you might have a market for a winter bike.

  • amanda henderson

    i would invest too! awesome idea!

  • Jon

    I would buy one. Keep me updated.

  • Julia

    How much do they cost and where can You get one

  • Rebecca

    This thing is awesome. …..I could even ride to work in the cold Canadian winter ☺…….would love to know where to get 1

    • Lizzie copejavs

      I live near Yosemite and spend a lot of time outdoors this amazing bike would be perfect for up here I’m interested in a purchase as well

  • Ladon Gasque

    How would u like to be partners? I will fund the 30k!!!???

  • Aimee Gaenzle

    I would like to purchase one for my commute to school and get the community involved in exercising again. Let me help you sell your car!

  • Ambee

    Where can you order them and how much are they? I need 2 of rhem

  • SUSAN WILSON

    WHERE CAN I BUY ONE OF THESE???

  • Rose Hauser

    I so would love one .I feel many here in Reno , Nevada would love them

  • Randall

    Where do I get this electric bike. I think this bike is awesome

  • Yesenia

    How much is this bike car???

  • Bob T

    After commuting on my bike for over 20 years in the NE part of the USA, yes!

  • Bruce

    Here you go just what you need for Ottawa cycling!!!
    Randy

  • Ken

    This is an electric car. It is not a bike.

    • Oliver

      It’s pedal-assist, meaning you have to pedal it and use part of your own energy to make it move. It’s more of a bike than most e-bikes that have pedals as decorations.

      • Roy

        No, if you add a motor it is no longer a bicycle. We already have a word for that; moped. Some people are calling electric-assisted bicycles ‘pedlecs’, which is fine. The distinction is important, we shouldn’t be calling something a bicycle if it is more than just human powered.

        Also I don’t see why it has to be so cute. Why must everything be made to be cute. The only problem I have with this vehicle’s design is how they dressed it up with decorations to make it look like a car, including things that are actually detrimental – like the pointless hubcaps (every gram counts), and low-mounted rear lights. Just let it be what it is, let people embrace it for its own merit – don’t turn it into some silly joke of a fake mini-car. We’re not children.

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