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Old 10-25-2012, 03:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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interesting article about electric velomobiles

Low-tech Magazine: Electric Velomobiles: as Fast and Comfortable as Automobiles, but 80 times more Efficient

The guy writes many interesting articles, well documented. On the Dutch version (he's from the Dutch speaking part of Belgium) he recently wrote an article about a life cycle analysis of an electric vehicle compared to conventional vehicle with IC engine, as done by a Norwegian university. So it's written in Dutch, hopefully that will soon appear in english too, or you must ask your computer to translate...This is the link:
Lowtech Magazine: Eindelijk: een levenscyclusanalyse van de elektrische auto

Well here is a link in English about the same subject:
Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric Vehicles - Hawkins - 2012 - Journal of Industrial Ecology - Wiley Online Library

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have always wanted a velomobile (give or take electric) as a commuter...

... not just that, but a low-speed (~30 mph), narrow lane, dedicated "freeway" to go with it. My commute has 17 lights by bicycle, or 5 lights by car. There's a 20-minute round-trip savings to be had in the car that has nothing to do with the car's cruising speed. That makes me sad.

It would be so efficient it would make me dizzy.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I forgot to add: they didn't talk about safety / traffic issues. I think the fact is that it's difficult for planners to integrate velomobiles (or even other recumbent type cycles) into certain traffic situations.

For example, the low-profile nature makes them especially difficult for cars to see in a right-of-way situation and can lead to intersection collisions. So there's a safety advantage to puting the velomobiles into the traffic lane instead of the bike lane.

Maybe suspended forward lighting could help with that problem.

There are also many cases where velos and trikes won't fit properly (with door zone clearance) in the cycle lanes.

But unless velomobiles can be expected to meet some minimum speed requirements, vehicular integration can lead to traffic flow problem on a) higher speed (40-50 mph) roads, b) uphills, where un-assisted velos can drop well below 10 mph, depending on rider fitness. So what do you do, require electric assist for all trikes and other vehicles that shouldn't be expected to ride FRAP ("far right as practicable")?

I've always seen recumbents and trikes as an unsolved traffic issue, although there may be a reasonable solution. But I think even if there is a good solution, it would be difficult for regulators to agree on it across the world and make it happen. Someone is going to be marginalized and angry if you tell them they can't have a fully human powered velo, or they have to have a fancy lighting system even in the daytime.

Last edited by christofoo; 10-25-2012 at 04:58 PM..
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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These would be ideal for most people's commutes and most daily driving. Can you imagine how little gasoline we would need to buy?

I really want one...
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd certainly like to try one. I've pedaled around a parking lot in a super sexy Go-One, but it wasn't really enough to get a sense of the machine.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
I'd certainly like to try one.
Absolute blast for me! In 2010 I took the one in the photo apart since my condo was condemned. Now that building is rebuilt- moving back in soon- and all the velomobile pieces are still there I might put that back together. That hub motor it had was very well used so it will be like starting all over. I wore out and sold the trike so everything will be new except the body.

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