Podbike starts selling four-wheeled pedelecs in Germany with Frikar model
774 days ago
Podbike® and STORCK Bicycle partner to revolutionize micro-mobility with an innovative new e-bike, the Frikar®, a pedelec providing sleek design & full weather protection
Stavanger, 17.10.2021 – Norway-based startup Podbike is revealing its innovative new e-bike, the Frikar (pronounced “FREE-car”) this month, a four-wheeled, fully-enclosed pedelec, suitable for everyday use. The launch will be carried out in cooperation with Germany’s premium bicycle manufacturer, STORCK Bicycle as part of a new strategic partnership between the two companies.
The Frikar offers an innovative, environmentally-friendly means of transportation in the form of a stylish, safe, human-powered vehicle that is permitted to travel on both roads and cycle paths. It combines rider-created pedal-power with electrical assistance like any other e-bike.
“The combination of attractiveness, comfort, safety, and sustainability has been central in Podbike´s quest to develop a personal mobility platform”, says Per Hassel Sørensen, Podbike co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. “Our ambition is to develop a personal transportation solution that offers a safe and sustainable alternative for the daily commute to work. When you consider that 60 percent of all car journeys are less than eight kilometers long, they could be easily replaced in many circumstances by the Frikar”, Hassel Sørensen adds.
STORCK Bicycle and Podbike – a Partnership Bringing Micro-Mobility to Europe
STORCK and Podbike are starting their cooperation agreement by jointly staging the Frikar’s global launch. The Frikar Launch Week will begin Monday October 18 at STORCK’s corporate headquarters in Idstein, Germany.
This coming together by STORCK and Podbike will create a network of dealerships and offer Podbike customers retail locations to buy and service their Frikars. In further steps, Podbike and STORCK aim to expand the close strategic partnership in pursuit of joint synergies.
“We are excited to announce this strategic partnership with STORCK because STORCK and Podbike both share a deep desire to innovate and to create superior products and services,” says Anne-Lise Heggland, co-founder and CEO of Podbike, and continues: “STORCK has set a high standard for bike manufacture and sales for more than 25 years. They are an important partner for us because they embody the same entrepreneurial spirit and green ambitions that we harbour.”
Just a few weeks ago, German premium bicycle manufacturer STORCK Bicycle positioned itself in a new, digital business segment with its new joint brand Cyklær and the smart connected e-bike. Now STORCK in cooperation with Podbike is establishing itself in the market with innovative micro-mobility solutions.
Frikar’s Design is Dynamic, Stylish and Engineered for Rider Satisfaction
The Frikar e-bike’s design and styling is aesthetically appealing, but also highly functional. It has roll-over protection and crush zones, while the four wheels and their suspension provide stability and enhanced rider comfort.
Since its home is Norway where winters are cold and harsh, the Frikar has full weather protection. It features a wraparound windshield (with optional windshield wipers) that fully encloses the rider. Yet the Frikar is so aerodynamic that it offers drag at the same coefficient level as a racing bike.
“One of the most important objectives in the development process of the Frikar e-bike was creating a functional vehicle that was also stylish, aerodynamic, and appealing to look at from a design point of view,” says Heggland. “Our design is top of the line and a unique selling proposition when compared to similar e-bike products on the market.”
Next Level Technology: Over the Air Updates to the Frikar’s Operating System
Podbike engineers in Norway will continue to update Frikar’s control systems and wirelessly transmit these firmware updates to customer’s vehicles ‘over the air’ as they become available. An app is also available to monitor the Frikar’s electronic systems in real time.
The Frikar is classified as an e-bike, so no driver’s license or license plate is required to operate it. It can be used on both bike lanes and on the road. The vehicle is 84 centimetres wide, the same as a standard bike trailer, which makes it agile and easy to handle.
The Frikar has two motors that provide electrical assistance up to 25 km/h because of European regulations. Faster speeds can be achieved, but the vehicle will automatically start braking at 50 km/h, a special safety feature that prevents the Frikar from reaching unsafe speeds beyond its design capacity.
The Frikar’s battery range is impressive. Depending on the outside temperature, weather, gradient, and riding behavior, the Frikar e-bike’s assist-motors offer a range of 50 to 80 kilometers on a full battery charge. Spare batteries can also be carried in the vehicle. Sophisticated technology, such as a belt drive instead of a chain, reduces wear and tear, and therefore maintenance.
“The desire for mobility is an essential part of human history,” says STORCK general manager Dr. Todor Lohwasser. “With this cooperation between Podbike and STORCK, we continue to write this history. Podbike and STORCK are united by our desire to look to the future and find creative, environmentally-friendly ways to get people from point A to point B.”
STORCK founder Markus Storck adds: “The innovative Frikar with its sporty design takes everyday micro-mobility, especially for environmentally conscious commuters, to a whole new level. In my opinion, Frikar is one of the most innovative e-bikes in the world.”
Interested participants and customers who have already pre-ordered the e-bike will have an opportunity to see the Frikar for the first time at various STORCK and SENGER|NEO locations on a multi-day test ride tour of Germany and Norway in October and November, 2021. SENGER | NEO is the youngest subsidiary of the Senger Group and is already a sales partner of STORCK Bicycles.
Advance reservations were required to book a test ride and were snapped up in September by Podbike enthusiasts within hours of their release. All 2021 test ride appointments currently planned in Germany and Norway are booked. Further Frikar test ride tours are being planned for European locations and will be communicated shortly.
STORCK Bicycle has been a market-leading German bicycle manufacturer since its creation in 1995. The Idstein-based manufacturer of premium bikes has four flagship stores in Düsseldorf, Idstein, Munich, and Wertheim. Its bikes are also offered by numerous other dealers in Germany and abroad. STORCK bikes can also be bought through its online store: www.storck-bikes.com. Various types of bikes from the premium segment meet the highest demands for sporty riding performance and modern mobility. With prestigious mobility funding projects, STORCK has already demonstrated the company’s innovative power over the years and can look back on a long experience.
Podbike® is a Norwegian startup with a global perspective. It has the ambitious goal of redefining urban mobility by creating stylish, highly engineered, sustainable e-bikes that can replace cars over shorter distances. Podbike was founded in 2016 and raised more than three million Euros from investors in 2021.
The name of Podbike’s first product, the Frikar® (“FREE-car”) is symbolic because the Frikar offers a way for people to release themselves from quotidian tasks and the drudgery of life by hitting the road in a sleek, dynamic, comfortable, safe, and environmentally sustainable, freedom-fulfilling vehicle.
Senger Neo is the youngest subsidiary of the Senger Group and is dedicated to the distribution of bicycles and accessories to private and business customers. Senger Neo’s range includes not only conventional bikes, but also e-bikes, cargo bikes and innovative concepts for two-wheelers and four-wheelers. With the launch of Senger Neo the Rheine-based automotive experts are expanding their portfolio of mobility solutions. The Senger Group is one of the largest automotive trading groups in Germany. As a representative for the brands Mercedes-Benz, smart, Volkswagen, Audi, ŠKODA, SEAT / Cupra, Porsche and DAF, the family-run company has shown a growing trend for years. The Senger Group employs around 3,000 people in 50 branches at 37 locations and generates annual revenue of 1.433 billion euros.