What is a velomobile?

A velomobile is a "human-powered vehicle" or HPV, also known as a bike-car, or a pedal car. It is a fully-faired recumbent trike, or enclosed recumbent trike. The name "velomobile" is a French word meaning bike-mobile or bike-car. It is the common name used in Europe and is becoming the term most often used in the USA, as well.

Velomobiles are very practical vehicles. Their enclosed shell makes them more functional than a conventional bike, protecting the rider in most weather conditions, thus greatly increasing the amount of time one can ride during the year. Velomobiles also have plenty of cargo capacity, so they can be used for running errands or commuting to work.

Velomobiles with an aerodynamic shape are considerably faster than a regular speed-bike. Adding e-assist (electric motor) makes it easier to climb hills and go farther.  This directly benefits those commuting to work, as it decreases the exertion required to get to one's job.

A velomobile is an enclosed bicycle, a human powered vehicle with a shell. Some velomobiles have small motors that work along with the pedaling bicyclist. With an aerodynamic body and three to four wheels, velomobiles often do not visually resemble bicycles, but the body, or fairing, is generally built over recumbent tricycle frames.

The attributes of comfortable seats and secure storage space combined with the vehicle's small size make velomobiles ideal for city travel. While velomobiles built for speed can have only two wheels, most velomobiles are built for urban use, with three or four wheels that bring stability to the vehicle. With headlights, tail lights and turning signals, velomobiles are safe for street use, ensuring visibility to other drivers. There are two body types for velomobiles, ones that are fully enclosed and those that leave the driver's head out in the open.

Velomobiles have the benefits of both automobiles and the classic bicycle. Like gas and electric vehicles, the aerodynamic shell of a velomobile protects the driver from inclement weather. Some velomobiles have small motors which enable the driver to climb hills more easily and take breaks from peddling. Like bicycles, the velomobile is peddled and independent of expendable power systems. They provide exercise to the driver and a down to earth experience when traveling. Like bicycles, maintaining a velomobile is relatively inexpensive.

Velomobiles are more practical for street use than bicycles, providing protection from weather, a more relaxed seat position, cargo space, and increased efficiency and speed.  Velomobiles are better than cars, with minimal maintenance cost, no harmful exhaust, less parking space required, a built in exercise plan, and a better view of nature and the world all around.

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