Schaeffler Pedals Up Urban Mobility Vehicle

Germany’s Schaeffler AG plans to begin testing its electric-assist quadracycle this summer and launch limited production for commercial applications next year.

Dubbed the Bio-Hybrid, the vehicle features a 48-volt battery and small electric motor that can be used in place of or to supplement human pedal power. The vehicle has a top speed of about 16 mph and can travel 31 miles with one 1.2-kWh battery or twice that distance with a pair of batteries.

Schaeffler’s one-year-old Bio-Hybrid GmbH subsidiary developed the vehicle and is showcasing two “near-production” prototypes at this week’s CES electronics show in Las Vegas. The subsidiary aims to double its 10-member development team this year.

The passenger and cargo versions share a modular platform that is about one-third the size of a small car. The 220-lb vehicles have four wheels, a roof and a windshield to enable use in inclement weather.

Schaeffler says the Bio-Hybrid can be operated on low-speed roads and bicycle paths in most countries without requiring a driver’s license or vehicle registration.

The passenger model sits two people in tandem. Schaeffler envisions the Bio-Hybrid being used as a personal mobility vehicle in cities and for first-mile/last-mile transportation applications. The cargo variant can be configured for various applications, such as refrigerator food delivery, a coffee shop or locked stowage compartment. The vehicle has a 300 kg (661 lb) payload.