► Canyon bikes builds a 'car'
► It's a battery-powered single seater
► Is it the Sinclair C5 reborn?
German bike manufacturer, Canyon, has released what it believes to be the future of transport, calling it the ‘Future Mobility Concept’ – a single-seater, pedal-powered vehicle which will help ease your commuting woes. No, the date is not 10 January 1985 and we’re not talking about the Sinclair C5.
The Future Mobility Concept is a strange step by a bike manufacturer; it would almost be like Mercedes-Benz bringing out a small car with two doors and two seats to offer a new kind of city car, for example. It’s that sort of sideways thinking that could spark a new way of getting around the busy streets, even if it’s been tried before in the resounding flop of the C5. The Future Mobility Concept, however, does house you in the car, negating the bad weather with, what Canyon call ‘storm proof protection’ and make you feel a little bit more enclosed and safer.
So, is it a car or is it a bike?
Well, it’s more bike than car, with recumbent style seating and pedalling to match. The ‘rider’ steers the Future Mobility Concept by levers which are located near the hips, it’s very similar in steering style to under seat steering found on some recumbent bikes.
It’s essentially a recumbent bike with four wheels and an added shell to protect you from the elements; the shell can slide forward to get in and out, or to allow ventilation while riding. There is also storage space behind the driver’s seat where you can load in shopping, luggage or, even, a child.
Give me the stats
The concept will weigh around 95kg, so it’s one heavy bike, but it will be electrically assisted, a planned range of 93 miles is achievable, Canyon claim that this could even be doubled, easily.
The dimensions are: 830mm x 1011mm x 2300mm Wheelbase 1680mm Trackwidth front / rear 760mm 20” 451x50 tires with around 7m turning radius.
How much does it cost?
Well, Canyon haven’t released that information, yet. However, you can buy electronic cargo bikes that will do all of the above without four wheels and without sitting in an enclosed space, for around the £2,000 mark. Were this to go to market, we doubt you would get much change out of £10,000.
But, it’ll just do bike speeds?
No. Canyon fully intend this to be a vehicle which could be capable of speeds capable of keeping up with flowing traffic, so that could be 30mph or more and it’ll have two driving modes. One for on the road and when the traffic starts getting back up and there is a cycle lane you can switch to bike lane mode, enter the bike lane and cruise along at a limited speed which falls in to line with legislation; in the UK that is 15.5mph with a battery limited to 250W of output.
Will it work?
Well, the Sinclair C5 did not work, but that was a different time – cities weren’t as busy and commutes were longer.
Now things are different: cities are more congested and people are looking at different ways to get around and possibly looking to change the way we treat ourselves and the world in post Covid-19 times.
It’ll take a huge seismic shift for things like the Future Mobility Concept to take off, from all angles, councils, consumers and manufacturers but it could pick up where the C5 left off.
Myles Warwood is a freelance writer covering the cycling and car industries. Check out more of his work on Pusher of Pedals.
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