Published on November 9th, 2018 |
by Steve Hanley
November 9th, 2018 by Steve Hanley
Before the beginning of the automotive era, the bicycle was a popular way to get around, especially in cities. Lots of bicycle manufacturers turned to making automobiles once the joys of the horseless carriage became known. History tends to repeat itself, and so once again today’s bicycle makers are trying their hand at making automobiles. The difference is, 100 years ago those early cars all had gasoline engines. Today’s inventors are focused on the electric car revolution.
Biomega is a Danish bicycle maker that began operations in 1998. Last year it introduced its first electric bike. This week, it introduced its new SIN 4-passenger electric car in Singapore. The name actually comes from the first three letters of that city. The SIN is intended strictly for the congestion that is commonplace in Singapore and other large world cities. The company plans to bring it to market no later than 2023.
Here are the specs. The SIN is constructed of what the company calls “modular carbon fiber” developed with partners in Germany and the UK. It weighs 950 kilograms including the batteries, seats four people, has four wheel steering, and four electric motors with a total of 80 horsepower, according to DesignBoom. Its range is said to be 160 kilometers from two batteries — a 14 kWh fixed battery and a 6 kWh battery that can be removed for easy charging.
The design of the car is — minimalist. Think of it as a Renault Twizy with two extra seats. “Biomega adheres to the less-is-more approach of Scandinavian design standards. Through the resulting uncluttered interior, the car rejects superfluous styling in favor of low cost, comfort and sustainability,” the company says. It sees the SIN as being ideal for ride-sharing and ride-hailing services in crowded urban areas.
Now here’s the interesting part. Biomega says the SIN will sell for around $23,000. That’s an interesting number. By an odd coincidence, that is exactly the price Volkswagen says its entry level electric car based on its new MEB chassis will cost. Presumably, Volkswagen expects that car to come with such amenities as doors, windshield wipers, cup holders, and the other accoutrements real car buyers are accustomed to having in their cars.
No one should ever disparage another person’s dreams, but the guess around the water cooler here at CleanTechnica headquarters is that Biomega will need to price its creation closer to $10,000 if it wants to sell more than a handful of these creations. Dreams are one thing. Business is something else entirely, as Elon Musk will tell you.
It’s an interesting time in the automotive business. Many legacy automakers are in danger of seeing their business model collapse, while an army of tinkerers are out in the backyard cobbling together new electric cars they think the world will clamor for. So far in history, 99% of all vehicle manufacturers have gone belly up at least once. The SIN is interesting but is it commercially viable? That is the question.