Velomobile helps owner beat gas cost

July 15, 2005 at 11:20 AM
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ST. LOUIS, July 15 (UPI) -- It is called a velomobile and a St. Louis man who just got the 3-wheeler vehicle is happy because it runs on batteries and gets him around -- albeit slowly.

Jeff Kline, a data analyst, says his vehicle is believed to be one of only a few dozen velomobiles in the country.

It resembles an egg with bicycle pedals, two batteries and a place to mount an iPod, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"It's not going to beat Lance (Armstrong) in a race," said Kline, who spends 60 to 90 minutes one-way to reach his workplace 27 miles away. "But it will get you here and back pretty comfortable."

Kline says each round-trip commute costs him less than a penny a day, based on how much electricity he uses to charge the batteries. He gets 50 miles out of each charge and the vehicle can clock 20 miles per hour.

Legally, the European-made velomobile is a bicycle, so he stays off interstates, the report said. The 132-pound contraption cost Kline about $7,500, excluding the $1,600 shipping cost from the Netherlands.

Velomobiles got their names from the prototypes Europeans first built and raced

in circular bicycle stadiums called velodromes, the report said.

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