For more than a year, design engineer Mikael Kjellman has been commuting to work in his self-created vehicle. We use the word "commuting" because we're not sure if he's "driving" or "riding;" in an effort to beat Swedish winter weather, Kjellman has created an enclosed, electrically-assisted four-wheel vehicle that's something like a cross between a recumbent bicycle and a SmartCar.
"It is a fun vehicle to drive and I really like to build things," write Kjellman, who calls his creation the PodRide. "It has proven to be a very practical and comfortable little vehicle." It certainly looks it:
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Kjellman is currently trying to raise $30,000 on IndieGogo to fund the production of PodRide kits that end users would assemble themselves. "[One step of the plan] is to make an easy to build complete kit, no fabrication needed (like a [piece of] IKEA Furniture)," Kjellman explains. But what's different about this crowdfunding campaign is that producing the kits isn't the true goal. First off, he's realistic about the obstacles:
It is a complex product and most of the parts have to be specially manufactured. My job is to design and purchasing machine parts but I have no experience in designing and purchasing textile parts. I'm the only fully dedicated team member today. The price on the kit may turn out to be too expensive.
The main motivation for Kjellman to run the campaign is to promote the environmental benefits of a bicycle-car hybrid, whether he mass-produces it or someone else does. "So it is equally important," Kjellman says, "to spread the word, show your friends, share online, talk to your local politicians and traffic planners show that [these] kind of vehicles exist and work."