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Velotaxi in Germany

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  • RemyC
    Finally, the mystery of the vehicle in this picture: http://www.electrifyingtimes.com/fisketorvet_santa.html Solved by Treehugger! Cabs for the Carfree City by
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 15, 2005
      Finally, the mystery of the vehicle in this picture:
      Solved by Treehugger!

      Cabs for the Carfree City
      by C. Lepisto
      April 9, 2005


      Network of dealers all over Europe, so the main site doesn't really list an
      actual contact address, but this is the one for England:

      Cardiff Ad Bikes Ltd.
      3 Clos Waun Fach, Castle View
      Caerphilley South Wales CF83 1TW
      info@ cardiffadbikes.co.uk

      Velotaxi is an idea whose time has come. The firm started in Berlin in 1997
      and gained its first high-profile exposure at the Expo 2000 in Hannover. The
      German firm has since reintroduced the rickshaw to Japan (where it was
      invented in the 19th century): Velotaxi was the only passenger pedal
      vehicles in service when they started business in 2002 in Kyoto and Tokyo.
      Banned in Mao's China because they exploited the drivers, this slick new
      rickshaw is regaining credibility not only with tourists (who are always
      willing to rely on the locals a little more than they would at home), but
      also with natives: Velotaxi reported in 2003 that 45% of the passengers in
      Berlin were Berlin residents. Now, with the FIFA Worldcup coming in 2006 to
      Germany, you will be glad you heard about velotaxi here first, so you can
      impress your friends before the vehicle the Germans know as the
      "cult-flitzer" becomes a household word.

      The company is design focused. The velotaxi is aerodynamically designed,
      with a semi-recumbent seat for better comfort and power transmission by the
      driver. Two adult passengers with day bags can sit on the upholstered seat
      behind the driver and are protected from the worst of the elements while
      retaining an excellent view. The cab is 3m long, 1.5m high and 140kg with a
      special mechanism to keep the turning radius small. The body is 100%
      recyclable polyethylene on a steel frame with 21 gears for optimal
      pedal-power; an electric motor assists with start-up or with heavy loads and
      can be regulated by the driver or switches out automatically at 11 km/h. And
      future developments will further enhance the modular construction so that
      the vehicle can be converted, for example from a mobile ice-cream store to a
      newspaper delivery vehicle by one person in two minutes.

      The business model is modern. Drivers pay a minor fee (5-10 Euro per day) to
      cover service costs for the vehicle, sometimes receiving a cell phone and
      uniform as well. The Velotaxi partner firm maintains the vehicles, and makes
      its profits from contracts with firms that advertise on the trike's shell as
      their source of profit. And firms are thronging to be seen on the side of
      the velotaxis because they have become a cult icon, not only turning heads
      on the street but receiving more than their fair share of exposure through
      media attention. Nothing says cool more than having a velotaxi in the
      background during your photo shoot.

      Of course, modern also means supporting a strong lobbying effort. Taking a
      passenger over seven years old on a bicycle was forbidden by German traffic
      law when the firm started business. In 2004, the firm finally fully
      established the concept so that the Velotaxi is today legal with only the
      business license, freeing the drivers from the need to present their
      "special exception" papers on demand to the authorities. Perhaps this will
      be the greatest contribution of Velotaxi to the concept of the modern city:
      promoting a new way of thinking. In addition to 9 cities in Germany, the
      aerodynamic moving billboards can be seen in 10 European countries, the
      Middle East, and in Japan; they are coming soon to Korea. The question now
      is: can it work in USA/Canada?

      Velotaxi Hannover e.K.
      Nikolaistr. 3 / Innenhof
      30159 Hannover
      Tel. +49 511 35 32 43 - 0
      Fax. +49 511 35 32 43 - 22
      info@ velotaxi-hannover.de
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