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World’s first electric-assisted velomobile-sharing service launches at UBC

B.C. has embraced the car and bike sharing economy -- and now people have another environmentally sound way to get around. Tanya Beja explains.

B.C. has embraced the car and bike sharing economy and now people have another environmentally sound way to get around.

Vancouver’s VeloMetro unveiled the world’s first public electric-assisted velomobile-sharing service at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Tuesday.

Called Veemo, it is a three-wheeled vehicle that is a cross between a bike and a car.

It is powered by pedal movement and an electric motor and works through a pay-per-minute smartphone app.

READ MORE: Canadians are way behind other countries when it comes to buying electric vehicles

The start-up is hoping UBC students will use it to get around campus.

“It feels like you have the strength of two Olympic cyclists pumped into your legs and launching you forward,” said Kody Baker, VeloMetro CEO.

The vehicle has power windows and GPS navigation and can reach speeds of 32 km/h.

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“The advantage is that you can go on bike lanes and you don’t need a driver’s licence,” said Ben Cornwell-Mott, vice-president of VeloMetro. “It allows you to bypass traffic.”

The service will charge 10 cents a minute initially and will offer third-party liability insurance.

VeloMetro says if students get on board with the idea, it will expand the service to Vancouver.

 

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