This is the year for synergistic collaboration between car and bicycle manufacturers.
Mercedes Benz Smart, the makers of what is already one of the world’s most compact cars has famously teamed up with bicycle engineers to come up with a rather stylish electrically assisted eBike … the first time that a car manufacturer has branched out in this way.
The eBike (a ‘Pedelec’) goes on sale this summer in Europe.
Less talked about is the industry’s effort to perfect the design for a folding car.
Fold it, carry it
Folded bikes have been a reality for many years. Best known is the ultra-compact and portable design manufactured by the British company Brompton.
Brompton bikes fold into a space little larger than one of the wheels. They can be carried as hand luggage and unfolded in seconds.
The folding car
Designers are said to be hoping for the same level of compact portability in a folding motor car.
It is not known whether the Brompton company is involved in the design. However, sources close to the project admit to teething problems with initial prototypes.
“Folding the buggers is easy”, commented a source, who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s unfolding them that’s proving to be the problem”.