World’s first super light electric folding bike

Given the shift to more pedestrian-oriented built environments, what kind of transportation can we expect to see? We know the Segway isn’t going to be a model for transportation – too heavy, clunky and where do you park the thing? Stackable cars are pretty nifty, but a decade away at the soonest. So then, how about the YikeBike?

Think of it as a cleaner, smaller, lighter, quieter, more portable moped

It’s a little ahead of it’s time (in other words, it has a $4450 price tag), though it’s something you can just see dropping in price the more popular they get. It also doesn’t make a great replacement for the bicycle as far as getting exercise with zero carbon output, two benefits the U.S. could use more of. However, for those looking for another reason not to drive, it’s a heck of an option, especially if you consider ‘Yike sharing’. Think of it as a cleaner, smaller, lighter, quieter, more portable moped. At 22 lbs with its foldability (15 seconds to get it 2 feet x 2 feet), there’s really no place you can’t take it, and with its electric motor, you’re never far from its 20-minute recharge.

Designed in Christchurch New Zealand, it’ll be available mid-2010 starting only in Europe. It’s by no means affordable, but can you imagine a bunch of YikeBikes available for rent at $1/hour? The key question is will it result in less people biking or driving?

For other key specs, check out the YikeBike FAQ.

In related news, it’ll at least be easier to find places to ride to now that Google Maps provides bike lanes as an option (thanks to Christian MacAuley of Fab Apps for the reference).