Credit: Design 21

URB21, the Human Energy Moving Urban Vehicle, is a new concept car designed to combat carbon emissions by combining the muscle power of your legs with the technology of an inertial flywheel to propel a person across a city with speeds up to 72 kph (45 mph). Assuming that this technology works and gets widely adopted in metropolitan areas, it could replace public transportation, biking and cars as the main method of transportation.

It could also mean replacing all your jeans when everybody has overdeveloped quads as tight as Serena Williams’.


Green vs. Reality blog

Danielle "Green" Carrie wants one!

But before the URB21 can roll off the production line and give Johnny Depp an edge in chasing down the thugs on 21 Jump Street, some concerns of mine need to be addressed:

1)    Where do you park it? The URB21 looks larger than a bike, but smaller than a car. Like ordering a medium coke at the movie theatre, this is the absolute worst price-to-size combination. Why? Because I can’t just pick the thing up and put it in my apartment, and if I leave it outside, I now have to pay for a parking spot. This is all great in the name of ecofriendly, but not so friendly in the name of my piggy bank.

2)    Protection from rain. The URB21 looks like a good concept for California, but for rainy Vancouver, that narrow windshield with the open sides just spells horizontal rain slapping in your face at 72 kph. 

3)    Where is the storage? Even a 1980s bike had a basket in the front to store E.T. and a couple of organic cucumbers. Have you seen the trunk on this thing? It looks like some open-air concept I don’t quite understand. The only thing that wouldn’t fall out of the back is a live octopus.

So at the end of the day, would I cruise this thing with Danielle around Stanley Park? Yes, because it looks cool and it would be interesting to see who ends up being the sucker who gets stuck sitting shotgun on that trunk.

But, I would rather spend my money on a $500 bike and Euro dance music that will make me pedal faster.