The Norwegian company Podbike has announced the pricing of their long-awaited Frikar “velomobile” just yesterday. They will start to sell the vehicle at the end of Spring 2021 only to Europe at the beginning and so the pricing is only in EUR. The basic price is 4995 EUR and the better equipped Frikar Plus will cost 5499 EUR. Those are very nice prices, of course, for a great looking fully enclosed electric bike, but there is no transport cost nor local value-added tax included. That means that if you pick-up the bike in Norway you will pay 25% more, which means 6244 or 6811 EUR. Even such prices are very low compared to other velomobiles which even don’t have the electric motor.
How is that possible? Most probably because Podbike has pre-orders for over 2500 Frikars so the economy of scale is something no one in the velomobile business could ever experience. They also won’t deliver to dealerships, at least not at the beginning, so they save on the dealer margin and the big issue is service too. The Frikar is a complex vehicle with a generator, as well as an engine, a control unit, and lots of newly developed parts, so problems can be expected. You can’t find any info in the FAQ section of the Podbike web about the service and maintenance. All this can subsequently increase the price. But that’s just speculation. I myself would like Podbike and Frikar to succeed, and for us to see more and more such “velomobiles” on roads and bike paths.
I have a few doubts about Frikar itself, which relate to my experience with velomobiles such as WAW, Strada or Go-One, which I had the opportunity to use for some time, but otherwise I really like the whole project.
And why do I use quotation marks around the word velomobile? Because there are people around us who are staunch opponents of calling such a vehicle velomobile. A vehicle that does not have pedals connected to the rear wheel by a chain, and which for the most part uses the power of an electric motor than the human one. Maybe similar vehicles will have to find their name and maybe not. But this is another fairy tale that I will write about sometime soon.
Read more about the pricing and specification of the Frikar and Friakr Plus on Podbike’s blog.