This Car/E-bike Hybrid Can Keep You Dry In A Downpour

Electric bikes and microcars are practical and environmentally responsible options for getting around overcrowded cities. The Karbikes pedal-assist quadricycle is the clever product of a French startup’s clever fusion of these three ideas. This four-wheel people transporter combines the compact convenience of a small car with the ease of biking for seamless urban commuting.

Now going into production, the Karbikes vehicle has been in development for a little over two years by Lucas Vançon and Gaëlle Richard’s firm in Strasbourg. This electric quadricycle with partial coverage has a metal frame that fits bike trails; however, one should confirm local laws before using it.

With a 250-W pedal-assist motor and an automated transmission, the Karbikes quadricycle satisfies European e-bike standards by reaching top speeds of 25 km/h (15.5 mph). It comes with a 1.24-kWh battery pack that can go approximately 75 km (46.6 miles) between charges, while advertisements mention a potential 160 km range. One way to prolong the intervals between plug-ins is by using a 100-W rooftop solar panel to help replenish the battery.

Although most photos display the car with its sides open, France Info claims that solid lockable doors are being developed and that zip-up fabric doors are currently available. The polycarbonate windscreen and aluminum roof keep the rider and passengers dry in bad weather.

One adult or two children can sit on the rear bench inside. The front rider uses a handlebar similar to a bike for steering and braking while seated in a center, semi-recumbent position. There is no mention of an additional app, but a smartphone installed on the bar can help with navigation.

The Karbikes quadricycle also includes hydraulic disc brakes, four shocks to handle uneven terrain, wing mirrors, headlights, a braking tail light, turn signals, an integrated alarm system, a horn, and a rear storage compartment with up to 400 liters. The startup’s website also shows a version with a sunroof and another designed for urban delivery services, featuring a cargo box instead of passenger seating. These variations are still in development.

The Karbikes hybrid car may appear expensive at €12,000 (about US$13,000), but orders for ten vehicles have already been placed, and delivery is scheduled for the upcoming months.

Watch the promotional video below for more information; however, it may be helpful to have a French dictionary on hand to read the captions:

Source: Karbikes

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