Exercise and drive at the same time. A winning formula?
Riding a bicycle is a great way to get around in a crowded city, but it also comes with a number of downsides. Like, no air conditioning for when it gets hot, or a roof and doors to keep the rain out. Bikes are also much slower than cars and only really hold the advantage when the car gets stuck in traffic. There are some advantages to biking, however, such as the low cost of ownership and the added health benefits.
A new Dutch company called Fit-Car is looking to pair the advantages of a bike with the benefits of owning a car. Aided by a Saudi investment, the company has created a new concept called the Fit-Car PPV, the world's first pedal-powered car that actually burns calories while you drive.
Avid Top Gear fans will remember the pedal-powered Porsche that Richard Hammond took around the track as a joke. Unlike that car, the Fit-Car PPV retains the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine of the Audi A4 Avant on which it is based.
You see, Fit-Car has replaced the traditional throttle with a bicycle pedal mechanism mated to a flywheel. The flywheel then generates an electric pulse which triggers the accelerator - the faster you pedal, the faster the car will go.
The Fit-Car PPV has three driving modes: one for driving slowly in the city, one for driving quickly on the highway, and one for working out while the car is stationary in traffic. The company says you can burn up to 300 calories every 30 minutes driving this car, turning a sedentary task into an exercise opportunity.
The Dutch startup is currently waiting on European approval and would eventually license its technology to automakers. While we wouldn't want to use it every day, we could see The Fit-Car fitting in nicely with one of the new mobility subscription services so people could rent it to work out during their commute.