The future of urban mobility has arrived at CES 2020 with a solar-powered cross between a bike and an electric car. The Wello Family car-bike hybrid has a built-in rechargeable battery and solar panels on the roof to help you with your load while you pedal. The three-wheeled vehicle is driven with a pair of conventional pedals, just like a standard pedal bike. Only with the addition of battery power and sunlight does it start to run beyond the speed of mere manpower. The tricycle is 2.7 feet in width, making it perfect to navigate between cars and tight spots.
The car also uses Bluetooth to connect to an accompanying app, which provides live traffic updates to the driver or – for a safer alternative – the passenger. It’s hoped that the bike, which has been built specifically for people in urban areas, will help alleviate congestion on the roads by encouraging them to leave their cars in the driveway. Not only could this potentially unclog the roads and get people to work faster, but reduce the amount of carbon emissions per city. Wello Family’s total speed range is between about 15 to 25 miles per hour (25 to 40km per hour). The bike has been developed by Wello, a company based in Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
Wello Family can sail down the bike lane just like any other bicycle, helping avoid urban congestion. The company says the bike is particularly suited to daily trips in urban areas and is ideal for short deliveries and travel for commuters. “In the era of the smart city, sustainable mobility is one of the major challenges facing the contemporary city,” the company says. “Imagine being able to move around in an urban environment, combining speed, security, comfort, carrying capacity and respect for the environment.” Wello Family combines the lightness and slenderness of a bike but with advantages of a car, such as its comfortable seats, space for passengers and windshield protection from bugs.
A CES attendee adjusts a mirror on the Wello tricycle, which can be pushed to speeds as high as 25mph. The vehicle is made for one adult up front and another adult, or two children, in a space at the back. Alternatively, if the peddler is travelling alone, the backseat can transform into a storage boot for the driver’s shopping bags. It also features mirrors, back lights and a robust outer shell, meaning bicycle users will finally have a bit of extra protection from surrounding travellers. It stands 7.4 feet in length and only 2.7 feet in width, meaning it’s thin enough to sail down the bike lane and can fill up those pesky gaps between cars at roadside parking spots.