Bicycles are on the rise – and for good reasons. Emerging from this movement, velocars are redefining individual mobility by offering the comfort of an e-bike, cargo capacity and weather protection.
The inherent joy and benefits of riding a bike surely are some of the main incentives of cycling. However, many people find that these are not enough – especially in a car-centric environment. Cargo bikes, e-bikes and velomobiles are answering these needs by adding transport capacity, power, speed, comfort and weather protection.
So why not combine these aspects in one pedal powered, fun-to-ride vehicle? As with many technological advancements, the idea of a velocar is not new. In this case, it’s as old as increasingly car dominated cities – roughly 100 years.
Originally coined by Charles Mochet in the 1920s, ‘Velocar’ has become the designation of a very special type of bicycles. They might be seen as the bigger, somewhat stronger relatives of the usually more speed-oriented modern velomobiles.
- weather protection
- a significant capacity for the transportation of passengers and goods
- the reliance on the legal status of the bicycle and its technologies
- electrically assisted driving
- and in some cases ‘sociable’ tandem funcionality.
Once numerous and closely related to the historical microcars and cyclecars, they are currently seeing a certain renaissance. Modern e-bike technologies and the cargo bike boom in conjunction with global warming and the consequences of massive car use have created a favourable environment for experimental bicycle designs.
Today, a growing number of manufacturers around the world are developing and releasing velocars of varying designs, usually as one seaters.
Our project has a decidedly different scope than most current velocars, since we are staying close to the original Mochet-‘Velocar’.
That does not just mean being a lightweight sociable tandem, offering cargo capacity and the cabrio feeling. The original velocars were built for city and countryside, for everyday transport in dense traffic and leisure tours and travelling on rough and unpaved roads.
And this is exactly, what our prototype is currently used for.