LEVERETT, MA, JULY 19, 2016—A father and son development team here has developed a totally new-type of eco-friendly, low-cost vehicle that combines the comfort and utility of a small car with the benefits of a bicycle.
Called the “PEBL” the new vehicle has been in development since 2013 and is now ready for introduction to the public, the developers say.
The unique body is made from a combination of hemp cloth, soy, and peanut oils, making it eco-friendly and lightweight (total vehicle weight is under 200 pounds). It is also strong yet flexible, making it resistant to denting and cracking, say its developers Kevin Murray and his son, Nevin.
Using a combination of pedal and electric drive, the PEBL is legally considered to be a bicycle, due to its top speed of 20 mph and a three-wheeled design, so no insurance or registration are required. It also has many features one finds in a small car.
The streamlined PEBL comes standard with reverse, cruise control, full street lighting, an 8 speed internally geared rear hub, suspension, a comfortable cloth interior like you’d find in a car, a dashboard with a USB charger and lots of cargo space. It can hold up to 8 bags of groceries and has room for two adults or an adult and two small children.
The PEBL is also designed for year-round use in the challenging New England weather and can be ridden fully enclosed in the cold and rain. The vehicle can also be ridden with the doors rolled up and the flooring under the pedals can be removed to create a breezy and open ride in the warmer months, according to the father and son developers. They emphasize that there is also an optional heater powered by the vehicle’s lithium batteries.
Murray says that the PEBL comes standard with one lithium battery for a range of 25 miles without pedaling. It can be recharged within two to three hours by plugging into a standard wall outlet. He added that the PEBL can hold enough additional batteries to go more than 100 miles per charge.
He emphasizes that a person can “pedal as much or as little as you want. If you don’t want to work up a sweat on your way to work, then don’t, but if you do wish to get some exercise on the way home, you can.” He states that while very fun and practical for those wanting to get a workout, it’s also empowering for those with limited fitness or health.
The PEBL offers a variety of options in addition to the heater, including a solar roof charger, and comes in a rainbow of colors.
All of their prototypes have been sold, but look for the PEBL on Kickstarter:
You can also enjoy their fun video:
They’re looking for donations to go into limited production this fall with full production in the spring of 2017. You can also find them at www.better.bike.