Frequently Asked Questions

Topics and Questions

Dealership interest

How can I become a Podbike dealer?

As we are still in development and have not started series production yet, we have not yet decided on how we will organize the sales and distribution, service and after sales etc. We have opened for pre-orders via our website already so initially all online pre-orders will be direct sales.  Our current plan is to start series production for the European market late 2020. We will maybe look for dealership partners after we have reached a certain production volume after 2021. If you are interested please send some information we can obtain for later to jobs@podbike.com

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Test Frikar ebike

How can I become a Podbike test pilot?

We have many who want to buy a prototype or test for us in the beginning. In the beginning, the 10 prototypes will be used in Sandnes, Norway and Bergen, Norway to be close to our head office.  Unfortunately, we need to have the test bikes a short distance from us here in Stavanger Norway, in need for tight control of the testing.  During May 2019 all test pilots has been elected and contacted.

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When and where can I have a test ride?

Exhibitions: Norway: Mini-Tour-De-Norway: POSTPONED due to COVID-19! Bergen: 24.08.2020 – POSTPONEDOslo: 26.08.2020 – POSTPONEDStavanger 03.09.2020 – POSTPONED Germany: Tour-De-Germany: POSTPONED due to COVID-19. Dates: Most likely October Our stops where it will be possible to catch a test drive (suggested): BerlinLeipzigMunichStuttgartCologneHannoverHamburg Due to COVID-19, you will also need to book a time slot.All our pre-order customers will get the possibility to book a time-slot 24 hours before we open up for all. To receive an invite, sign up for our newsletter here. We will have more information to share by the end of August, so watch out for an invite. As we sign up for exhibitions we will update this section.

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The Story of Podbike

What is the Frikar ebike?

Frikar is an e-bike with four wheels, providing weather protection. You need to pedal for the assistance to kick-in. You will have electric assist up to 25 km/h. Higher speed needs to be based on your pedalling, as well as wind and gravity. When the speed goes above 50 km/h (only possible downhill) the electric motors automatically starts to gently brake the vehicle. Max speed is around 60 km/h (only possible downhill). The Frikar e-bike seeks to mate comfort and practicality from cars with low environmental impact and healthy life-style from cycling. It will be made from easily reusable materials that together with high efficiency results in personal transport with minimum environmental impact. Frikar e-bike is similar to a velomobile.…

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What problems will the Frikar ebike solve?

CARS CAUSE PROBLEMS – They cost a fortune to run with their diesel and petrol engines. They produce poisonous emissions and greenhouse gases and consume massive amounts of limited resources. BICYCLES ARE MUCH BETTER – Both for you and the environment. Unfortunately, few use them for personal transport. The challenge is how to get more people to use cycles instead of cars. Traditional bicycles have been available for over a hundred years but lack weather protection and high-speed capability and offer zero crash protection. Electric assisted bicycles, or pedelecs, remove the burden from pedalling up steep hills or in strong headwind. But they do not remedy the problem of lack of weather protection, nor do they offer any crash protection.…

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Dimensions and size

What is the full spec for the Frikar e-bike?

The full spec is yet to be finalized but here are some preliminary spec (may change): Size: 2300 mm long, 839 mm wide, 1100 mm tall (ride height), 1500 mm tall (raised) Weight when empty: approx. 65kgMax weight when loaded: 200 kgOccupancy: has room for 1 adult + lot of luggage, or less luggage and a childChild seat (optional): Up to six years / 22 kg (whatever comes first)Towing hitch: Yes (optional)Absolute top speed: 60 kph (downhill)Max assisted speed: 25 kphAir & rolling resistance target: Max 100W for 30 kph, about the same as a racing bikeFrikar ebike is designed to be an EPAC/Pedelec within regulations as defined for EU; i.e. max assisted speed 25 kph, max continuous assist power…

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What is the size and weight?

2.3 m long, 0.839 m wide and approx. 1100 mm tall (ride height), 1500 mm tall (raised). You feel like you are sitting inside a sports car with large windows. Fun fact: It is 50 mm higher than a Lamborghini Miura and 50 mm lower than a Volkswagen XL1. Mirrors can be tilted in to get through openings of at least 84 cm. //www.facebook.com/thepodbike/photos/a.1214552035222166/3281589141851768 Weight when empty: Approx 90 kg. Max weight possible with rider and luggage: 200 kg.

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Visibility

How many lights will a Frikar ebike have?

The Frikar ebike will have lights in the front and behind in addition to the turn signals on each side. This is redundant lights, supplied from two power supplies both front and rear. In case something goes wrong, there is still light. The body will also be equipped with reflectors as required to be street legal in the country it is configured for. That include “Z” marked reflectors for Germany.

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Technical information

Want to read more about the engineering work behind the Frikar ebike?

More technical info in Product Developer Per Hassel Sørensen’s  Master Thesis: “Velomobile: redesign” (2015) from University of Stavanger is available for downloading here.

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Do you have any “Connected Vehicle” or IoT in mind (beside bring your own smartphone)?

Yes, we do have IoT plans for the Frikar ebike. If you are interested in reading more about the technical solutions we recommend looking into “Velomobile:Redefined”, the master thesis by Podbike Founder Per Hassel that laid down the design principles for the vehicle. Click here to read the master thesis.

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Safety

Protective zones to absorb and distribute impact energy in case of collision.

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Brakes

Our driveline uses two motors that are always engaged, one for assist and one as part of the electronic “gear”. And both motors act as brakes. This will recuperate most of the braking energy. This also helps to compensate for low driveline efficiency. In hilly terrain regeneration may increase range with more than 40%.

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Motors

Two motors, one in each rear wheel, is the only propulsion – no greasy chains. A compact generator propelled by pedals provide human power input. An electronic transmission complying to pan-European requirements for electric assisted cycles. We use a battery pack specially developed for electronic transmission on cycles in Nordic climate.

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Speed

We use three motors/ generators, two that acts as electronic transmission and one that acts as assist motor/electronic brake. The power to the assist motor is limited to 250 W continuous output and 25 KPH speed limit, while the other motor output matches the pedal generator input thus acting as the human powered transmission. This motor works beyond 25 KPH. However, when you use the electronic brake that can be triggered manually, for example by pedalling backwards while going forward, or automatic, when reaching max downhill speed, both wheel motors brake the vehicle. The assistance to speed from the battery is limited to 25 KPH. However, the pedal generator is not. So by continuing to pedal and thus supplying manmade…

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Wheels

All wheels comes with the same 27-406 rim dimension. The wheels are made of thermoplastic with 60% fiberglass and are very robust. These wheels are also used on heavy-duty cargo bikes that handle twice the total load per wheel. These wheels have not the issues of corrosion and spokes where seen on regular bicycle wheels. The wheels are fastened with a single safety bolt, similar to a Formula 1 car. This makes it very easy and quick to change between summer- and winter wheels. We will offer optional extra winter wheel set with or without studs. With studs the vehicle offers safe travel on both snow and ice.

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Gear

The speed and torque of the pedals are individually controlled by setting a preferred cadence and load. The cadence has priority: If you pedal slower or faster than the ideal cadence the algorithm will try to keep your ideal cadence by changing load. This is implemented by simulating a standard bicycle gear change so you will experience a step change in load. However, the number of “gears” and the delay before changing “gears” might be adjustable. Also, the pedal load reflects the wheel load so that it becomes easier to pedal when you pass a top and start going downhill.

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Drive train

Frikar ebike uses series hybrid propulsion with no direct mechanical linkage between pedals and wheels. All energy transfer from the rider to the wheels is done via electric wires. The vehicle use one 250W motor for electric assist, and one 250W motor for series hybrid propulsion, thus it is legal in all EU countries. This may sound like too little, but the vehicle has been designed to be very energy efficient.

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Buying a Frikar ebike

What type of warranty will be offered with the Frikar ebike?

We will follow the law’s minimum guarantees in Norway to the Norwegian customers. Then we will consider having it as the standard for the whole of Europe, where imposed warranty liability is normally much weaker than in Norway.  We will update this information when we have more details.

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What is the price for a Frikar e-bike?

As we are still into development, it is too early to tell the exact sales price, but we estimate the initial price for a standard model (Frikar ebike without any optionals) to be from NOK 50.000,- This is equivalent to approx. Euro 5000 (plus local sales tax and shipment costs.). Optional equipment at extra cost. The sales price will be updated closer to launch, and will depend on chosen equipment packages / additional (optionals)  when doing the final order.  A complete list of available optionals and associated prices (for equipment packages) will be published closer to launching.

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What equipment will be included in a standard version of the Frikar e-bike?

The standard model of Frikar ebike includes a battery with an estimated range of 80km (battery combined with pedal power), left side mirror, summer tires, cup- and cellphone/ tablet holder inside, USB charger, front lights, back lights and indicator lights.

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What extra equipment will be available?

We are still working on the list of optional equipment. This list will be rather extensive as we try to cover many of the needs of customers all over the world. Factors such as climate, terrain, age, family situation, usability etc. necessitate a wide range of options. Some examples are:Window wiper (manual), window washer, various canopy coatings, different colours and decoration, winter tires (studded and studless), different ventilation systems, extra battery capacity, spare batteries, trailer hitch/ towbar for a bike trailer, extra lights, child seat, vehicle elevator (for easy access and vertical parking), extra theft protection, fabric covers, sound system, BT handsfree, and more to come. The pricing is not finalized. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated!

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How do I order a Frikar ebike?

You can pre-order here: I really want a Frikar ebike!

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What are the terms and conditions for pre-ordering a Podbike® Frikar® e-bike?

1) Podbike Reservation. Thank you for your reservation of Podbike Frikar ebike! You have secured an estimated priority for delivery of Frikar ebike for your country and region (zip code). We will inform on our website www.podbike.com about which countries and areas that are prioritized for delivery. By giving us this trust, you help build a green, economical and fun ebike that we believe the world really needs.  2) Date of reservation. This reservation is considered valid from the payment of your reservation. 3) Booking. You are pre-ordering a product that will be produced for you in the future. It is important to emphasize that this reservation is not an order or sale of a Frikar ebike. The reservation gives you an estimated priority for delivery…

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Where will the Frikar ebike be available?

The Frikar ebike will be available in all European countries. Availability outside Europe will depend on demand and country regulations. 

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When will I get my Frikar ebike?

The current plan is to have the first commercial ebikes on the market by early 2021. Due to COVID-19, we are experiencing problems getting the parts we need. We are doing everything we can to try to prevent any delays. We plan to start delivery in 2021 to pre-order customers in Norway/the Nordics and Germany followed by the rest of Europe. Our patient pre-order customers in Europe will get delivery after a priority list (based on location, date of order & paid pre-order fee).Once we have determined the order of delivery, we will update the FAQ (podbike.com) and update you through our newsletter. Availability outside Europe will depend on demand and country regulations. 

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Will the Frikar ebike be available in the United States at some point?

This is not a Trike, it is a quad.  Quadricycles like Frikar are only allowed without electric assist in some US states. Some US states do not allow quadricycle with e-assist like Frikar. We still hope Frikar e-bike will be available, but US legislation for electrically assisted human powered vehicles are quite clear that only bikes with two or three wheels can be classified as e-bikes, see “Public Law 109-319” here: //www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-107publ319/pdf/PLAW-107publ319.pdf So with the current legislation, our vehicle is only legal on the street in the US without battery, on pure “bread power” since it has more than three wheels and is thus classified as a car. We have thought of making a three wheel ebike for USA &…

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Why should I buy a Frikar ebike?

By replacing your car with a Frikar weatherproof e-bike you will save money, get daily exercise and avoid being stuck in the car traffic and struggle with parking. And you will contribute to a healthier environment. We have focused on bringing practicality, design and joy into our Frikar e-bike.

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Who has developed the Frikar e-bike and why?

Per Hassel Sørensen (a Norwegian engineer) has developed the Frikar ebike concept and his main focus has been on how to improve a velomobile for making it more suitable for the masses. A lot of design principles are discussed in his master thesis in Sustainable Energy Technology (2015, University of Stavanger/ Norway). The motivation is the ongoing and escalating climate change primarily caused by excessive human consumption of fossil fuels. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Nhp4l2c5A

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What problems will the Frikar ebike solve?

CARS CAUSE PROBLEMS – They cost a fortune to run with their diesel and petrol engines. They produce poisonous emissions and greenhouse gases and consume massive amounts of limited resources. BICYCLES ARE MUCH BETTER – Both for you and the environment. Unfortunately, few use them for personal transport. The challenge is how to get more people to use cycles instead of cars. Traditional bicycles have been available for over a hundred years but lack weather protection and high-speed capability and offer zero crash protection. Electric assisted bicycles, or pedelecs, remove the burden from pedalling up steep hills or in strong headwind. But they do not remedy the problem of lack of weather protection, nor do they offer any crash protection.…

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Charging

Can I bring the battery with me in the airplane?

Yes, you can bring with you two of our batteries at the same time in your hand luggage.

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How do I charge the batteries?

The batteries can be charged inside the vehicle or separately (outside), and they are charged from a regular ebike charger which is included with the bike.

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Still have doubts? Contact us
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