Volkwagen's Electric Bike Folds Up To Size And Shape of Spare Tire
Volkswagen has rolled out a very slick electric bike that folds up neatly into a small circular package that fits nicely into the trunk of a car. The big question is, why? One website suggested that it was for riding to the phone or the gas station if you got a flat tire, which is pretty silly. In fact, VW might be on to something here. They call their dreadfully named "EV Bik.e" a "mobility enhancer."
If you can get by the insane dancing intro, you learn from Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg that the bike is designed to give you more options, say parking in one spot for the day and using the bike to get around in town. So instead of clogging the streets and looking for parking spaces all over, one might park at the periphery of a town center and do all of the short hops by bike.
It is not a fast bike (Germans don't need helmets if it doesn't go more than 12.5 MPH) nor does it have terrific range (20 km or 12.5 miles) but it charges from the mother ship's battery and that is probably more than enough for bouncing around town.
While us TreeHugger types would wonder why one doesn't get a bike with longer range and a little more speed to go the full distance by bike, we are not in the car business. From Volkwagen's point of view, this makes a lot of sense. More at AutoBlog Green
Other intermodal and multimodal uses of folding bikes:
IF Mode Folding Bike Folds in Seconds but Rides Like a Normal Bike
Trend Watch: Multi-Modal Commuting with Folding Bikes
Air Canada to Intermodal Cyclists: Drop Dead