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PHOTO CAPTION: Mikael Kjellman demonstrates his PodRide during long, cold Swedish winter.

PodRide Blends Car-Like Function with Bike-Like Ride

Swedish mechanical engineer develops blend between resource-intensive automobile and environmentally-responsible bicycle.

Published: 29-Apr-2016

How do you get around in wintery Sweden on a bicycle? Not easily nor comfortably. That problem posed both a challenge and opportunity for Mikael Kjellman, a mechanical engineer who lives in Ostersund, some 350 miles north of Stockholm. So he invented PodRide, one of the more practical velomobiles EV World's seen.

Your basic velomobile is a low-slung, bullet-shaped enclosure around a recumbent bike. At best they are unstable. At worst... well. Their idea is to reduce drag and make it easier to pedal. They also provide some protection from the weather.

Kjellman figured there was a better way: something a bit more car-like, yet still powered by his legs... plus a small 250W electric motor that legally is allows a top assisted speed of 25km/h (15 mph). He's driven the PodRide for a year, commuting the 11 km (7 mi) to work and back, including a Scandinavian winter as shown in the video below, which he used as part of his Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. He's raised more than $40,000, well over his original $30,000 goal.

His plan is that as he reaches various funding levels, he'll be able to develop the plans and eventually a kit, possibly offered through a company like IKEA.

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