Despite the mutual animosity of its users, the automobile and the bicycle are intrinsically connected to the very birth of the auto industry, and almost without exception all early automobiles were produced by bicycle makers.
Now, with the rapid development and guaranteed acceptance of electric propulsion for the automobile, a Danish bicycle company is readying a new electric car.
Danish bike-maker Biomega, backed by Hong Kong investment group EVE, has unveiled its SIN electric concept (reportedly named after the city call letters for Singapore, known globally for its contemporary urban sprawl) at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. The electric car is the flagship of a line of electric conveyances, which includes a bicycle.
“Biomega has always been about creating a paradigm shift in the way society imagines transportation,” said Biomega founder Jens Martin Skibsted. “We are working on a new spectrum of vehicles where ... the (electric SIN) is the largest, and the bicycle is the most compact; making SIN another step in the natural progression of our ongoing battle against the combustion car.”
The city car features a flat floor with three 2-kWh lithium ion batteries located behind the rear seats, four motors for all-wheel drivetrain, and 4-wheel steering to make it more manoeuvrable in city confines. It also features a fascia window to make it easier to see directly in front of the vehicle.
The 4-seat interior is minimalist, apparently relying heavily on current mobile devices and related apps for its infotainment features — music, navigation, etc. — and equipped with basic fabric on frame seats (which are expected to fill out significantly by the time the car comes to market, reportedly in 2021).
Meanwhile, two of the world’s largest manufacturers — General Motors and Ford — are adding 2-wheeled electric vehicles to their product lists.
Ford, through its Smart Mobility division, has recently announced the purchase of Spin, an electric scooter sharing service in several cities and college campuses in the US. Working much the same way was car- and bike-sharing services, the scooters are booked and paid-for through mobile apps, and are what are referred to as first- and last-mile mobility solutions (quick and easy transportation to use locally to get to other longer-distance transportation services).
The move was preceded a week earlier by a General Motors announcement that it was developing two electric bicycles (a compact and a folding model) as part of its move to expand its mobility options through its Urban Mobility Solutions. The hook is that it is soliciting suggestions for the new bike brand and giving away $10,000 US to the submitter of the chosen name, as well as $1,000 US to each of the other nine finalists. Submissions open at the end of November.