The Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid concept vehicle combines pedal-power and electric drive, and is being billed as a solution for future urban transport.
The golf-cart shaped four wheeler contrived by German auto supplier Schaeffler requires the passenger to start pedaling until battery-powered assist kicks in. The tiny car can take the rider up to 15 mph, and can access bike lanes and parks easily.
The Bio-Hybrid combines pedal-power and electric drive, making it emissions-free and cutting air pollution, the company says. Patrick Seidel, innovation manager at Schaeffler, is a potential “solution for future urban transport” in a rapidly urbanizing world.
The hybrid part of the Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid concept seems to refer to the transition between pedal-power and its 250-watt electric drive. The reference to “bio” in the brand name isn’t being explained by the company.
The Bio-Hybrid weighs 80 kg (176 pounds), which isn’t a problem with the electric assist, though Seidel says production models will be lighter. “It may be a little overengineered at the moment, but we want to prove the concept,” says Seidel.
Schaeffler is a Germany-based major manufacturer of auto and industrial components and employs 84,000 employees in 50 countries. It files quite a lot of patents each year – 2,500 in 2015 – and its innovations have been used by virtually every car maker.
The Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid may be manufactured by Schaeffler, or it could be a source for parts to automaker clientele. It’s purely a concept vehicle at this point, and the concept car could be more of a commitment from the company to support sustainability and urban mobility.