Bike purists may scoff that the Armadillo looks like it was designed by an engineer. (Germany's Berliner Morgenpost calls it "a mix of go-kart, bicycle and van.") But these are highly functional vehicles that a lot of thought went into:
- Though they can carry 300kg (660 pounds), they're only 86cm (34") wide, meaning they can easily fit on bike paths "without causing problems for other cyclists."
- The suspension and stability have been carefully tuned to handle what European city streets are likely to throw at you: Cobblestones, potholes, tram tracks and small curbs, all of which you can roll over without rattling your teeth out of your head.
- The low center of gravity means that you can maintain speed while cornering, and that "there is no risk of tipping over."
- Despite the low center of gravity, the rider's sitting position is at the same height as your average car, providing good visibility.
- The height of the seating position makes it easy for the rider to put their feet down and stand up.
- The Armadillo features a tight turning radius, for those narrow Euro streets.
Perhaps most intelligently, the Armadillo was designed with containerization in mind. With platforms sized to accept cargo boxes from major carriers, "The transfer of goods from motor vehicle to city hub and from city hub to last mile vehicle takes less than 1 minute each."
One thing I found amusing was the reversing method. There is no powered reverse, and the company writes "It is easy, just put your feet down (yes, Flintstone style) on the ground to reverse."