NOTE : Because of problems in the construction stage (welding workship not available for the project), the project had to be canceled.
I feel very sorry for it, with all the efforts go to waste.
In the eventuality of getting some free time and workshop I might continue the project latter.
Raid ENSAM Cluny, VUT Brno
1600Km in eco mobility through Europe
A sporty challenge riding a velomobile!
1) General situation and future of the Velomobile
Despite the realization of the ecological problem, the utilization of the car doesn’t decrease. Cars are getting bigger and even emptier of passengers, polluting the atmosphere of our planet.
The population isn’t doing any sport anymore and the number of over weight people is increasing. People are getting ill more and more often even with the scientific progress.
We are here to present you a new means of transportation: the velomobile.
A mix of a bike, a car and a motorbike, it allies the advantages of each.
As a recumbent bike, the lying position makes it very comfortable.
Faired bike, it protects the biker from weather conditions and makes the vehicle very aerodynamic. By this air penetration advantage, the velomobile is one of the less energy consumer vehicles existing. What’s more, there is a lot of room behind the biker in the fairing for storage.
Because the bike motorized with a powerful electric motor, it can easily reach 45km/h as motorbikes, and this without breaking a sweat thanks to a moderate and regular effort from the biker.
As narrow as a scooter, it can easily make its way into urban circulation.
By these facts, the velomobile has the potential to become the future means of transportation for urban or short range trips. Its very low energy consumption, which is only electric and muscular, will make it pollution-free. What’s more, the users will be able to do sport during their commuting time, and so be healthier.
2) An engineered project
The project is led by five engineering students from ENSAM Paritech Cluny, France. It is a very multi-faceted project, going through all the steps of the designing of a vehicle and its promotion.
The velomobile is designed for a wide range of users, mainly to be used in urban environment. Comfort, ergonomic and top speed without much exerted effort are the top priorities.
Safety is the other priority. To prevent the danger of other velomobiles from being too low on the road to see and be seen, all the structure has been raised. Now the biker is at normal car’s height. A tilting system allows the velomobile to tilt as a normal bike and prevent it from flipping over in tight curves. The fairing will also be designed to protect the biker in case of a crash.
Designing of the structure, the electric motor, the tilting system, the fairing, the ergonomics… all these points represent many months of research!
The promotion of the project, the broadcasting of the ideas and the pursuit of sponsorship are other aspects of the project.
3) An cultural bridge
The leader of the project and experienced biker, Léonard Siclon, will study in double diploma during the year 2009/2010 and 2011 in the University of Mechanic VUT Brno, in Czech Republic.
He will join the two partnered universities with the velomobile in february 2011, in a 1600Km trip going through Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
Contacts with the media will occur all along the way to promote the eco-mobility in all these countries.
Random contact with habitants will also be made along the way to refill the battery or find a place to sleep. The big logos painted on the fairing of the velomobile will easily inform the public of the sponsors, the project, or the website to visit and have more information. We can’t believe such a vehicle won’t be unnoticed!
We also want to prove that the countries of the European Union are closer than we could imagine!
The velomobile will then be used daily in Brno, to carry on diffusing the message. It will also be continually improved.
4) A promotion to eco mobility and health
The event will be the occasion to promote at an international scale the eco mobility and the health mobility. We want to prove that alternative solutions exist and are at everyone’s reach. They just need to be developed.
5) A sporty challenge
The raid of 1600Km will mainly use “Eurovelo6”, a cycle path running across Europe from Nantes (France, Atlantic) to Constanta (Romania, Black sea)
The aim will be to finish the trip as fast as possible. The actual provisional time is from 5 to 7 days. That means between 250 and 300Km a day! A pushed training will be necessary to achieve such a performance.
The travel will be done in autonomy: as little equipment as possible, regular shopping along the way. Water and electricity supplied few times a day by stopping at local residences. Nights can be spent outside, in a tent or at local residence, while batteries are charging. Learning how to explain the project in French, English, German and Czech will be important!