Tag Archive: podbike

  1. First Podbike Frikar deliveries to Germany just around the corner

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    German purchasers of the advanced velomobile e-bike will soon receive their orders, as the brand begins strategic deliveries

    The wheels are in motion, and Podbike’s very first deliveries in Germany will take place in Bochum, Nordrhein Westfalen. This milestone represents a significant step in the brand’s journey. Podbike updates that, to ensure the smoothest experience for customers, deliveries will follow a meticulous, one-step-at-a-time approach, with thoughtful attention to detail.

    Podbike has also announced new service partner, Trimobile, to serve Nordrhein Westfalen and ensure that customers’ Podbike experience will be supported by a dedicated team.

    Along with this news, the brand share that they have opened new reservations for the Podbike FRIKAR in Europe once again, with delivery for new orders expected in 2025.

    The Podbike FRIKAR has recently been awarded with the Business Concept’s CSR Excellence Awards 2023 “Most Innovative Sustainable Urban eMobility Product – UK & Europe”. This achievement is a testament to the dedication, innovation, and sustainability that define the FRIKAR. The official announcement will take place in February 2024.

    About Podbike

    Podbike® reimagines the future of urban mobility as convenient, fun and sustainable. The company has invented an advanced e-bike to help bridge the transportation gap between cars and bicycles. Built on top of years of research and development, the T1 version of Frikar® ebike represents a new category of vehicle aimed at fighting climate change, lowering pollution and forming the transportation backbone of the smart cities of the future.

    Podbike AS was founded in 2016 by Per Hassel Sørensen (CTO and Lead Product Developer) and Anne-Lise Heggland (CEO) to address the growing challenges of urban mobility. The Podbike team is a collection of dedicated, nature-loving entrepreneurs, engineers and creatives located in Stavanger, Norway.

    The brand’s core motivation is a belief that tackling climate change is the greatest cause of our time. With a focus on sustainable and ethical production, and a product portfolio that prioritises low-carbon over low-budget, Podbike hopes to provide individuals and companies around the world with compelling transportation solutions.

    In developing the Podbike Frikar ebike, the company’s primary focus has been on improving existing velomobile designs to create the world’s most desirable car and bike alternative. With its all-weather canopy, long electric-assisted range and suite of comfort and function-focused features, the Frikar ebike is well positioned to become a vital part of global transportation infrastructure.

    Learn more at www.podbike.com

  2. FRIKAR Signature Deliveries by Podbike are Expanding

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    The maker of the four-wheeled e-bike with weather protection has updated that all local buyers in the Stavanger area of Norway have now received their Podbike® FRIKAR™ Signatures and are enjoying their rides around town. Currently, Podbike is in the process of expanding its delivery reach.

    Customers residing in and around the coastal town of Bergen, which is approximately a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Stavanger, have also received their bikes.

    Sending FRIKARs to other cities in Norway marks an important milestone for Podbike, as it represents the company’s first deliveries beyond its home area. The Bergen deliveries have been successfully completed, and deliveries to Oslo have commenced. Looking ahead, Podbike has set October as the target month for deliveries to Trondheim, a city significantly distant from Stavanger (800 km). Following this, the company will proceed with deliveries to the rest of Norway.

    In a previous update shared in May, Podbike announced its decision to transition from traditional stick-building techniques to small-batch production. The company acknowledges that there may have been inquiries regarding the progress of this transformation. Rest assured, every moment of anticipation has been worthwhile. Starting from August 1st, Podbike’s workshop has reinvigorated its production capacity, with an impressive ten bikes manufactured this month alone. This substantial increase in production has been achieved through a dedicated commitment to streamlining processes.

    Many pre-order customers are located in Germany, and Podbike anticipates commencing deliveries to German buyers before the end of the year. Podbike has already contacted its earliest pre-order customers in Germany to confirm their interest in purchasing a Podbike FRIKAR Signature.

    Podbike is committed to addressing each area one at a time, with the first area for deliveries to be announced in the next update from the company.

  3. FRIKAR production picks up

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    LEVA-EU member FRIKAR has announced that it is shifting to small-batch production of its limited-edition Signature model, allowing them to enhance their construction model.

    Only 180 units of the model will be produced, and entirely hand-built to ensure tight quality control. Previously, each was stick-built piece by piece, but now FRIKAR has hired another assembler, allowing the shift to more efficient small-batch production. Instead of working on one bike from beginning to end, each will now be built in batches, with the team working on the same stage on every bike in each batch, saving preparation time for each stage.

    This shift is seen by FRIKAR as a way to modestly boost output and increase efficiency, without sacrificing quality.

    FRIKAR Awards

    FRIKAR sees their Podbike concept as the next step in the evolution of green mobility, and last year received a handful of awards: Innovators Award at the Eurobike trade fair in Frankfurt, and Most Innovative Urban Mobility Company and E-Bike of the Year at the Scandinavia Business Awards. They have teased that another prestigious award is coming their way, with details to be revealed in due course. 

  4. Podbike officially delivers the first FRIKAR

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    After battling engineering challenges, a global pandemic, and a shortage of computer chips, LEVA-EU member Podbike has triumphantly announced its first FRIKAR delivery.

    On February 1 2023, the very first of Podbike’s innovative FRIKAR was delivered. Podbike co-founder Per Hassel Sørensen embarked on his journey to build a better bike in 2015 after being hurt in a bike/car collision. After eight years of development, the first model is now complete.

    Despite facing many challenges throughout the production and development process, the vehicle is officially on the road. Instead of customers cancelling pre-orders over the last two years as Podbike wrestled with design and supply chain challenges, the vehicle actually received more purchase requests than could be handled. Podbike shared, “This enthusiasm sustained us because it showed there is a sizeable and committed market for green mobility. Here it is: the final product! And we are stoked!!!”

    Individuals who pre-ordered the FRIKAR will now be contacted with further details on their purchases.

  5. Podbike begins construction of final FRIKAR e-bike

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    The updated version of LEVA-EU member Podbike’s FRIKAR vehicle will incorporate all design and engineering changes from the last 12 months.

    Construction is underway at Podbike HQ in Stavanger, Norway, with the bike being slowly and deliberately built by hand. This precision allows the team to develop its compilation documentation during assembly; following this, the final model will be tested for a month. After a successful testing period, the pre-ordered models will be hand-assembled and the scalability of manufacturing will be analysed.

    When Podbike set out in 2016, it was predicted that their bikes would be commercially available some time ago. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine, supply chain problems, funding shortfalls, and design challenges have continually set back the release date. For this reason, the team is not yet able to commit to a final release date. Despite this, the previously confirmed roll-out plan will be followed: FRIKAR will be delivered to pre-order customers in Norway first and then to customers in Germany in 2023. The model will launch in other European countries, one at a time.

  6. Podbike tours Europe and further enhances the FRIKAR design

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    LEVA-EU member Podbike has toured the uniquely designed FRIKAR e-bike around various European trade shows, delighting audiences and making fresh engineering discoveries along the way

    ‘Podbike, meet din 79010’ – Germany’s strict safety standards

    Germany’s rules for bike design and safety are the gold standard across Europe. The Podbike FRIKAR is so unique, that it’s not completely clear which category of bike design it belongs in. Podbike has chosen to abide by Germany’s rules for cargo bikes, as the LEV can carry two people: one big, one small, or one rider and cargo in the rear.

    For example, the FRIKAR should be able to roll off a curb onto the road without any fear of damaging the bike. These simple drops from curb to road surface occur all the time on a bike, so it was necessary to test the effects of constant bumping such as this over time.

    To simulate long-term riding, Podbike has developed a power-driven test rig that allows a FRIKAR to ‘drive’ for days and days on rollers without a break. The fatigue data gathered provided interesting insights, which will assist in ensuring Podbike is first-in-class when it comes to velomobile stability and durability.

    What to do when shock absorbers are not absorbing sufficient shock?

    The biggest finding was that the front suspension wasn’t behaving as expected, being too stiff for the test rig. The suspension wasn’t absorbing enough kinetic energy, making for a bumpy ride and some complex handling. Additionally, unnecessary pressure was exerted on the bike’s chassis which would cause damage over time.

    As a result, Podbike has chosen to change the springs on the FRIKAR’s front shock absorbers. In laymen’s terms, the team has made the front suspension softer. This more supple suspension creates more give in the front end of the FRIKAR, reducing stress on the chassis, and taking a load off the front of the chassis and all the bike’s other components.

    The new springs have different diameters and steel thicknesses than the old ones. They will add a little extra weight, but not much – just a few grams.

    Why redesign the front suspension now?

    Readers may ask, why did Podbike wait until this late stage in the design process to make this change?

    The short answer is that there was not enough test data until now, despite the FRIKAR undergoing 2 years of test driving with the old suspension springs on roads in Norway.

    After some stress cracks appeared in the chassis, it was realized that reinforcement was required. Following this, it was assumed the issue would be solved, but the amped-up fatigue testing this summer on the roller rig revealed that more refinement was needed. Hence, additional suspension development!

    Development enhances the FRIKAR to the max.

    The good news is that following the installation of softer front shocks it was discovered that they extended the FRIKAR’s projected longevity by three to four years!

    A great result, but Podbike is committed to further development as to meet the German cargo bike standard.  Unfortunately, these changes to the front suspension mean the bike’s production will be delayed a little longer. However, while disappointing for some, Podbike’s dedication to quality is highlighted, ensuring only the most superior of products reach end-users.

  7. Podbike updates on manufacturing progress

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    LEVA-EU Member Podbike reports on an intensely busy time at headquarters as they focus on delivering their first run of bikes to pre-order customers.

    During some last-minute design checks, Podbike staff discovered that the rivets used on the FRIKAR’s base plate did not match the manufacturer’s claimed technical specifications. To fully ensure reliability, Podbike are undertaking additional fatigue-testing to check the rivets’ durability.

    With the testing ongoing, Podbike hope that no changes will be needed. However, if the rivets are found to be not strong enough, new base plates will be built. These are due to arrive in July.

    Podbike have reiterated that first FRIKAR deliveries will go to customers in Norway and then to customers in Germany. Starting in 2023, Podbike will launch in other countries, one at a time.

    Podbike also report on engineering tweaks to the FRIKAR’s design, which have been integrated following insightful comments during last year’s test ride tour of Norway and northern Germany.

    One issue which has challenged Podbike’s engineers is unwanted noise inside the cabin. The electric motor, plus the sound of the driver pedalling, was a bit too loud for some.

    Podbike are working to optimize the solution while also avoiding adding too much weight, and report that solving the noise issue will take time. They acknowledge that this is a common issue for every velomobile where the drivetrain and moving parts are inside the rider cabin, rather than hidden in a separate, heavy and soundproofed engine compartment.

    Finally, Podbike have shared details and a short video of their new Dynamometer Jig for dyno testing the FRIKAR.

    Those interested in contributing to the Podbike crowdfunder can register their interest here.  

  8. Podbike is crowdfunding

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    Podbike is now raising capital, and is offering followers the opportunity to join its quest.

    Podbike aims to redefine urban mobility with a 4 wheeled e-bike designed for life in the cities of tomorrow. With full weather protection and room for an adult and a child, this e-bike has been designed to be license free. It will allow a user to access bike roads to save time and money, while doing good for the environment and yourself. 

    In a statement by CTO and product developer, Per Hassel Sørensen, the company shared news of its crowdfunder:

    “I have some exciting news to share!

    We are launching a crowdfunding campaign to ignite the next stage of our journey.

    Being a feisty start-up is exhilarating, but growth requires cash. We have received funding to date, but, befitting our company’s founding principles, we also want to involve you, our grassroots supporters.

    Because YOU are the heart and soul of our brand!

    We are thankful that our concept of a human powered vehicle has been greeted so warmly by so many. Our community of customers is growing – we now have more than 32,000 like-minded people who are following us through emails, newsletters, and social media. 

    We feel fortunate to say that we now have 3,500 pre-orders!

    When I joined Podbike, I made a commitment to excel in three areas: Product, Environment, and People. I wanted to build vehicles that were functional, elegant, made to last, and have as little impact on the planet as possible.  If you would like to take part in the next stage of Podbike’s journey and invest in the company – YOUR company – please register your interest by going to our crowdfunding site below.”

    Interested investors are invited to register here.

  9. Podbike preparing for the next phase in its quest to become the leading provider of velomobiles:

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    Following an eventful 2021 with a string of successful launch events, EUR 3.2million in raised capital, and a record number of pre-orders, Podbike is transitioning from start-up to early growth phase. Kicking off 2022, the company is accelerating the transition by making changes to its management structure and by launching a recruitment campaign to further strengthen its team.

    Podbike founder Per Hassel Sørensen

    Podbike AS announced on the 6th of January that Åge Højmark has been appointed the new CEO of the company. Mr. Højmark will succeed Anne-Lise Heggland and will assume the responsibilities effective from January 1st, 2022. Mrs. Heggland founded Podbike together with Per Hassel Sørensen (CTO) in 2016 and has for the past six years held the role both as CEO and CFO.

    Mr. Højmark brings over 20 years of international experience within operations and business development and holds both an MSc in Engineering and an MBA. For the last 8 months he has served as COO in Podbike and has been instrumental in setting up the company for this next phase.

    New Podbike CEO, Åge Højmark

    Mrs. Heggland, who has planned this transition for some time, will continue in her role as CFO and is looking forward to dedicating more of her time to developing the financial planning and control required as the company grows.

    Both Mrs. Heggland and Mr. Sørensen are excited about the development of the company – “This is an important next step in the development of Podbike. We now have an experienced Board and Management in place to take the company through the next phase. This is the culmination of our effort since we started the company six years ago and will allow increased focus on delivering Podbike´s growth plan.” 

    Podbike, which is frequently referred to as the Tesla of e-bikes due to their novel and innovative approach, will start delivering their first product, the e-bike FRIKAR, in 2022. With global ambitions and over 3400 pre-orders the target is to grow its topline from zero to EUR 8 million during the next year and to scale up quickly from there.

    Mr. Højmark in a comment says – “It is an honor to be trusted with this responsibility. As for most start-ups, there have been many challenges during this first phase but so much has been done correctly. To be allowed the opportunity to further develop a company with such potential is a privilege. Podbike´s dedication and practical approach to green mobility and sustainability adds meaning to this challenge. Achieving a transition to more efficient and sustainable modes of transport are essential if we are to achieve the UN 2030 sustainability goals.”.

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