E-bike maker sees space for bare-bones electric car in congested cities

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Biomega SIN lightweight urban electric car

Biomega SIN lightweight urban electric car

A Danish bicycle and e-bike company, Biomega, has shown an open-wheel concept car that takes the sculpted, less-is-more ideas of Scandinavian design to new extremes—to what may be a regulatory impossibility in the U.S.

The four-seat four-wheeler, called SIN, for Singapore, appears to be aimed at some of the most congested cities in Asia. It’s a futuristic, bare-bones urban warrior, with a flat floor, seating for four, and a windshield that wraps up and over the occupants—with an additional windshield (which the company calls a “fascia window” at the footwell level. Doors will be translucent and add to the outward visibility. The wheels look like garment buttons, the seats are made of a mesh material, and a tablet screen is just to the side of a small steering wheel.

The company describes its project as “a paradigm shift in the way society imagines transportation,” with “social innovation, design thinking, and new urban mobility combined.”

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The car uses a carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) shell structure with aluminum crossbeams, claimed to be “a world-first use of modular carbon fiber for high volume automotive production.”

Four wheel-hub motors produce a total of 82 horsepower, and 118 pound-feet of torque. With a top speed at 81 mph, it’s intended to be more than a low-speed neighborhood electric vehicle.

Biomega SIN lightweight urban electric car

Biomega SIN lightweight urban electric car

The battery pack is designed to be swappable—in the floor and modular. Battery capacity is 20 kilowatt-hours, with a 14-kwh module plus a more easily removable 6-kwh module. Total battery weight is 440 pounds.

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Biomega claims that the vehicle would use 11 kwh to go 100 km, which should give it a range of about 113 miles—though the company cites a range of 99 miles.

The release date for this vehicle is targeted for as soon as 2021; Biomega hasn’t released any information about manufacturing, although it chose a trade fair in Shanghai, China, for the vehicle’s official reveal.

Biomega SIN lightweight urban electric car

Biomega SIN lightweight urban electric car

Considering all the lightweighting, the SIN has a curb weight of 2090 pounds—about the same, if not more, than a mainstream compact car of 35 years ago such as the Toyota Corolla of the early 1980s. Safety regulations have added hundreds of pounds to modern passenger vehicles; the curb weight of the tiny Smart Fortwo Electric Drive two-seater is about 2400 pounds.

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Biomega isn’t the only e-bike maker eying the electric-car business. Oregon’s Arcimoto is drawing inspiration from cycling and aiming for urban delivery and fleet niches with its equally bare-bones (and more utilitarian) FUV. And Sondors, which has had some measure of success building (and delivering) crowdfunded bikes, aims to start selling an all-electric three-wheeled car—also crowdfunded—sometime next year.

Both of those efforts are different in that they have three wheels and can bypass strict U.S. passenger-vehicle standards by essentially being classified as motorcycles. Biomega’s focus on a four-wheeler will almost certainly keep it out of the U.S.

 
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