We are creating a brand new electric-assisted velomobile with four wheels and an enclosed body. Since it’s a bike you don’t need a driving license and you can drive through the toll booth for free. You are allowed to use the velomobile wherever regular bikes are allowedPer Hassel Sørensen, one of the founders of Podbike.
The bike is electric-assisted, which means that you are still using your legs and pedals, but you also get help from the electronic transmission reaching a speed of up to 25 km/h. If you want to ride faster than this, you must assist by pedaling.
A bike for Suits
The most important factor behind the idea of developing a new type of electric bike is the protection from the weather. Bad weather is the main reason why more people don’t bike in Norway. The main market for Podbike is those people who actually want to ride a bike, but don’t actually do so. The intention is not to switch those who already use regular bikes onto Frikar e-bike but to get those using other means of transport to use Frikar instead, explains Hassel Sørensen.
The range is 60 to 180 kilometers
Using the standard battery the range of the Frikar is 60 kilometers, but we expect to triple this capacity to 180 kilometers for those who want to travel longer distances or want longer intervals between charges. And if you run out of power there is no need to panic because this is basically a bike, so you can just use your legs and pedal home, he smiles.
Creation of technical design using Solid Edge
We use the Solid Edge design software from Digitread on everything from concept design to the final production stage. We also use Solid Edge when we create a simulation of the mechanical forces. When we are designing how the electrical cables should go, and where we should route the hydraulic hoses to the hydraulic brakes, we find all the tools we need in the premium version of Solid Edge”, Hassel Sørensen continues.
Almost everything in the entire design phase for all the technical know-how is performed in Solid Edge. But the exterior visual design is produced by an external design agency. Since we have already been using Solid Edge for a while, we know the software well, but if we encounter problems in the design phase, it’s easy to get the help we need from Digitread’s experts in Sandvika. Without a 3D CAD tool, I think it would have been virtually impossible to create a product like the Frikar.
A test fleet of Podbike Frikar`s
The first test bike has been tested daily on the road since December 2019. Ten test bikes are currently on the road. Using a test fleet was a very good way of receiving feedback. The product has been developed while under testing. Necessary parts have been replaced and updated if needed. A smart way to improve the product before mass production.
Lots of changes have been made based on testing and feedback from our test pilots. Here are some of them:
- Improved fit with better canopy sealing.
- Reinforced front with improved ventilation and improved blower.
- Optimised for factory assembly.
- Higher ratio between motors and wheels.
- Higher ratio between pedals and generator.
- Higher maximum torque in motors and generator.
- Reduced noise from synchronous belts by a change of belt pitch.
- Third generation of master controller board – ready for superduper future options!
- Third generation of LED control board with special builds for homologation in Germany (sorry, there will be no integrated (only after market and separate) direction indicator and no reverse light on our bikes in Germany due to StVZO §67!).
- Better seat with more support and easier adjustment, specially developed for our bike.
If everything goes according to our timetable, we will start delivery in Spring 2022. The first deliveries will be in Norway as it is close to our R&D department. It is simply the smartest and easiest way to launch a new product. As we have a lot of German customers, Germany is also very high on our delivery list.
Pre-order your PODBIKE FRIKAR e-bike here!
Picture above from the first presentation of the Podbike at Bergensia back on October 10. 2018.
Meet the inventor in this Youtube clip: