A Vancouver cleantech startup has developed a quirky new single-person electric-assist pedal vehicle that could, by next year, be quietly zooming along the city’s streets and bike lanes—and eventually, those of other cities like it around the world. In the simplest terms, the Veemo is a three-wheeled enclosed bicycle sporting an electric-assist motor.

The shiny little vehicle is an old idea reborn; it’s complete rethink of a velomobile—a simple enclosed recumbent bicycle concept that has been around for decades, but has never come anywhere close to the mainstream.

That’s about to change, if John Stonier has any say in it.“This is the first non-car personal-vehicle sharing option that anyone has put out,” said Stonier, CEO of VeloMetro, the company that is developing the Veeemo in a lab and production shop near the city’s east side waterfront.

“Our whole goal has been to take the velomobile—a nice product that is quite impractical—and redesign it to make it make it great for everyone to use.”

The Veemo is all-but effortless to pedal, as the electric assist motor kicks in right away—Stonier calls it “active transportation without perspiration.” For this reason, plus the fact that no helmet will be required, it will likely appeal to business people who want to get across town without sweating in their suits or messing their hair.

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