Mikael Kjellman, an outdoor adventure sports enthusiast, designed the PodRide vehicle in Sweden with the basic idea of creating a weather protected and more comfortable bicycle.
The 70-kg (154-lb) vehicle features four wheels for added stability and a waterproof fabric body mounted on an aluminum frame. It allows drivers to sit at the same height as you would in a conventional small car. Kjellman has been driving it to-and-from work for a year, and found it to be “a very practical and comfortable little vehicle.”
PodRide has a 250-watt crankshaft engine, augmenting the rider’s pedaling power. Its electric motor allows you to adjust the level of assist, to travel further, easier. One charge of the onboard battery pack should be good for a motor-assisted range of about 60 km (37 miles). It has a top engine speed of around 25 km/h (15.5 mph).
PodRide is road-legal in Sweden and most other countries. It’s narrow enough to fit on regular bike paths, and is classified as an e-bike in Sweden – that means no special licenses or insurance are required in order to use it.
The vehicle comes with ventilation, headlights and an indicator for safer cycling. It features a full LED lighting system, airsprung suspension, interior defogging fan, a manually operated windshield wiper, and a rear cargo compartment.
Mikael said: “We drive on both rear wheels and with many gears; it can even take on steep hills and rough terrain.”
“And to get better ventilation in the summer you can open up the lower part of the front window and both the side windows.”
Pricing and Availability
Updated 18th March, 2021: An exact price for PodRide has not been announced yet. They plan to offer PodRide at a range of price points depending on the configuration that you choose. PodRide options will include with or without motor, options on gearing, battery capacity, etc. The company will start taking orders for the 4 wheel version of PodRide in mid 2021, with production starting shortly after. The 3 wheel version would likely be at minimum 12 months after the availability of the 4 wheel version.
The company plans to offer the 4 wheel non motorized PodRide, and the 3 wheel motorized PodRide for customers in USA/Canada. A four wheel non motorized PodRide is classified as a bicycle in many jurisdictions. But adding a motor of any size or configuration would mean PodRide is no longer classified as a bicycle. To comply with regulations they will produce a 3 wheel motorized PodRide for USA and Canada, which will be classified as an electric bicycle in most jurisdictions. Check their official website for latest updates.