The Future City Mobility competition enticed designers to envision how London's transportation could look in 2030. Marten Wallgren, a Swede studying at the Royal College of Art, along with three cohorts, took the SeymourPowell award for their concept dubbed London Garden. The scheme incorporates a network of electric buses, taxis, and scooter-bikes, all of which interconnect to make London Garden a car-free zone.
(Tasty pics below)
In the vision of Wallgren and company, these special bicycles operate in three modes. The first is the familiar one (presumably with the addition of regenerative braking). The second is an exercise mode, where additional resistance is supplied to generate and store electricity. The third mode cashes in on stored power and turns the bike into an electric scooter. These bicycles are foldable, and are stored for community use in tall, treelike structures that double as bus stops (not unlike this bike tree and the Cyclepods). The bike racks themselves are meant to generate power from rainwater, sun, and even kinetically from the wind as its swooping arms sway.
Probably what caught the judges' eyes most was the notion that these folding bikes are carried on-board the electric buses and taxis. Once docked inside, they double as seats. The stored energy that was generated during pedaling is now transferred into the vehicle and even credited as currency towards your fare.
Understandably, Wallgren's creativity has been spotted by Toyota, and he is now in Japan on a summer internship. Stay tuned to his blog to see how he fares in "the land of Prius, manga, ninjas, sushi, Mr. Miyagi, and Sailor Moon." Via Bicycle Design