It may seem ideal to take that cross-country trip from New York to L.A., but in practice, it would probably work out to a lot more than 18 gallons (68 liters) of gas. The Goblin Aero isn't built for highways -- it can't keep up with traffic. So unless a highway has a bike lane, you'd be relegated to the much more roundabout local streets.
But there are significant benefits to driving a velomobile like the Goblin Aero. For one thing, you don't have to register it as a car. You can register it as a motorized bike or a moped, which costs a lot less money. And in some states, you don't have to register it at all. It just counts as a bicycle.
In most cases, you also don't need a license to drive it, so someone who finds himself with a suspended license could still get to work without dealing with a bus schedule.
Still, those aren't the biggest reasons why someone buys an Aero. Much more central is the issue of health -- both personal and environmental. At 150 miles per gallon (63 kilometers per liter) and a 30-mile (48-kilometer) round-trip commute, someone could conceivably drive to and from work for one week on a single gallon of gas. That cuts the financial and environmental costs of commuting by two-thirds over something as environmentally friendly as a Prius.
And a Prius won't help your body at all. Riding a bike to work is a great activity for weight maintenance and cardiovascular fitness, and the velomobile's carlike enclosure makes it a much more viable option for many commuters. Plus, you can pick your lane -- car lane, bike lane or path. A Goblin Aero is legal to drive on bike paths that take you off the main road, so the driver can take a shortcut or the scenic route, too.
At a price ranging from $5,000 to $9,000 dollars depending on power (human, gas or electric) and body features, a Goblin Aero is going to cost you more than a typical bicycle but less than a typical car. For most people, it can't totally replace a car, since it's a one-seater. But if taking the low-emissions, high-health scenic route is important, a velomobile could prove to be a perfect second vehicle.
For more information on the Goblin Aero, velomobiles and related topics -- including how to buy one -- look over the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Bobolicu, Georgiana. "New Eco-Car from Goblin Motors to Hit the Streets this Month." Softpedia. Feb. 2, 2009.http://gadgets.softpedia.com/news/New-Eco-Car-from-Goblin-Motors-to-Hit-the-Streets-this-Month-1034-01.html
- "GoblinAero." Goblin Motors.http://goblinmotors.com/html/powered_by_human__car_technolo.html