Could electric velomobiles change micromobility? Meet the Kinner Car
If you’re a fan of velomobiles and love the retro style, then I think you’ll find the Kinner Car intriguing — and not just because of its hybrid car-bike nature. While the Kinner is described as a primarily human-powered vehicle, you’ll still get electrical assistance.
Still a work under progress, the current prototype is 285cm long, 100cm wide, and has a 220cm wheelbase, allowing it to be legally classified as an electrically assisted bicycle — in Europe, at least.
It fits two riders and has room for luggage under the hood.
The Kinner has been created by guitar-builder and classic-vehicle-restorer Ari Jukka Luomaranta. I reached out to him, to get to know more about it.
What type of electric motor will the vehicle use?
According to Luomaranta, the Kinner will use an assistant electric motor with automatic gears.
“It’s a very innovative design,” he explains. “The engine works like a ghost, it just feels like someone is pushing you.” It’s also designed from the user’s point of view, so the motor will keep cadence constant, without requiring any action from the rider’s part.
Plus, you can turn the Kinner “on” by simply using the respective app on your mobile.
The aim, he further notes, is to have the Kinner mostly muscle-powered. For this reason, he has focused on a lightweight design with a composite chassis and roadbike wheels.
At the same time, there are plans to develop two more variations of the vehicle: an even lighter “competitzione” model without any motor, designed for exercise and racing, and a model without pedals, solely electrically-powered.
Does the Kinner fill a gap in the micromobility market?
Micromobility is booming in cities around the world, and we’re seeing more and more ebikes, escooters, tri- and quadcycles on the streets. So this made me wonder, is there a place for vehicles like the Kinner?
Luomaranta believes there will be demand for this kind of vehicle in the future.
To begin with, the Kinner encapsulates a more social concept, he says. You can ride it with a friend, a partner, a parent, you name it. Plus, it’s flexible and can easily be built in different variations to accommodate different social activities.
For example, [you can ride it] in resorts and areas where you want to move comfortably with someone without traffic regulations. You can go road biking and exercise together. You can travel with luggage like a tent and go on long trips more easily than with an ebike.
You can rent one and ride comfortably in central parts of towns to see attractions. It’s also a perfect sportscar to dress up nice and ride slowly on a boulevard with zero emissions.
In fact, Luomaranta believes that as European cities are transforming their central areas into low-emission zones, the Kinner could provide a viable replacement to cars, by offering comfort without any environmental impact.
When will the Kinner be available?
The first deliveries will start in April 2022 and the velomobile comes with a $17,448 price tag.
Luomaranta says that they have already received orders and that they will start making the first batch of six cars in the beginning of January.
The pedalcar will come with integrated sportwatch, navigator, and anti-theft system, but you also opt for customizable extras including windscreen, mirrors, lights and blinkers.
You can get a closer look at the Kinner on the video below:
I don’t know about you, but I’d be very interested to see velomobiles catching on, especially if they can combine modern design with a classic retro look.