E-bike maker sees space for bare-bones electric car in congested cities

Biomega SIN lightweight urban electric car

A Danish bicycle and e-bike company, Biomega, has shown an open-wheel concept car that takes the sculpted, less-is-more ideas of Scandinavian design to new extremes—to what may be a regulatory impossibility in the U.S.

The four-seat four-wheeler, called SIN, for Singapore, appears to be aimed at some of the most congested cities in Asia. It’s a futuristic, bare-bones urban warrior, with a flat floor, seating for four, and a windshield that wraps up and over the occupants—with an additional windshield (which the company calls a “fascia window” at the footwell level. Doors will be translucent and add to the outward visibility. The wheels look like garment buttons, the seats are made of a mesh material, and a tablet screen is just to the side of a small steering wheel.

The company describes its project as “a paradigm shift in the way society imagines transportation,” with “social innovation, design thinking, and new urban mobility combined.”

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The car uses a carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) shell structure with aluminum crossbeams, claimed to be “a world-first use of modular carbon fiber for high volume automotive production.”

Four wheel-hub motors produce a total of 82 horsepower, and 118 pound-feet of torque. With a top speed at 81 mph, it’s intended to be more than a low-speed neighborhood electric vehicle.

Biomega SIN lightweight urban electric car

The battery pack is designed to be swappable—in the floor and modular. Battery capacity is 20 kilowatt-hours, with a 14-kwh module plus a more easily removable 6-kwh module. Total battery weight is 440 pounds.

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Biomega claims that the vehicle would use 11 kwh to go 100 km, which should give it a range of about 113 miles—though the company cites a range of 99 miles.

The release date for this vehicle is targeted for as soon as 2021; Biomega hasn’t released any information about manufacturing, although it chose a trade fair in Shanghai, China, for the vehicle’s official reveal.

Biomega SIN lightweight urban electric car

Considering all the lightweighting, the SIN has a curb weight of 2090 pounds—about the same, if not more, than a mainstream compact car of 35 years ago such as the Toyota Corolla of the early 1980s. Safety regulations have added hundreds of pounds to modern passenger vehicles; the curb weight of the tiny Smart Fortwo Electric Drive two-seater is about 2400 pounds.

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Biomega isn’t the only e-bike maker eying the electric-car business. Oregon’s Arcimoto is aiming for urban delivery and fleet niches with its equally bare-bones (and more utilitarian) FUV. And Sondors, which has had some measure of success building (and delivering) crowdfunded bikes, aims to start selling an all-electric three-wheeled car—also crowdfunded—sometime next year.

Both of those efforts are different in that they have three wheels and can bypass strict U.S. passenger-vehicle standards by essentially being classified as motorcycles. Biomega’s focus on a four-wheeler will almost certainly keep it out of the U.S.

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