There are tons of e-bike news this week and Canyon is getting in on the wave with a couple of new Commuter:On & Precede:On city e-bikes, but it is the Canyon Future Mobility Concept that has our attention. Whether it is really practical or not, where it would make sense or even be truly safe to pedal… is all up for discussion. But a four-wheeled, fully-enclosed recumbent electric-assist pedal car from a major bike brand is certainly worth discussing!

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, electric-assist commuter pedal car

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, electric-assist commuter pedal car, prototype micro car, rendering on city street

It is hard to decide even what we call this thing, but Canyon’s new Future Mobility Concept is an interesting mash-up of a tiny electric car and the urban e-bikes that we see zipping around densely populated European cities. Canyon has looked at what use cases will get more people out of cars and onto bikes, and has come up with an idea that takes cargo bikes to the next level into an e-bike/car hybrid.

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, electric-assist commuter pedal car, prototype micro car, rendering in traffic

The idea is essentially that it can transition from car traffic and speeds up to 60km/h, then down to conventional e-bike 25km/h max speeds to slip into narrower bike lanes once traffic starts to build up.

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, electric-assist commuter pedal car, prototype micro car, rendering in the rain

And with a fully closable cab or ‘capsule’, riders get protection from the elements as well as some crash protection too.

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, electric-assist commuter pedal car, prototype micro car, rendering with groceries luggae

Inside, the layout is much like a recumbent bike, trike, or in this configuration a quad-bike / pedal car. It isn’t an electric car per se, but a pedal-powered vehicle with the additional support of a regular e-bike powertrain. Canyon claims a target 150km range with 2000Wh of batteries (about 4x a regular e-bike), at a mix of high & slow speeds. Maneuverability is also recumbent-like, with two side sticks for steering to navigate a 7m turning radius.

You can then fit a single rider plus a bunch of groceries, or a pilot rider plus a child as a passenger (as the front seat slides forward to load the rear).

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, electric-assist commuter pedal car, prototype micro car, rendering with a child

All of that in a 4-wheeled footprint that is essentially the same width as an enduro bike’s handlebar (max 83cm wide), but a wheelbase about a half meter longer (1680mm wheelbase, 2.3m long overall.) At 95kg, this isn’t going to get carried up the stairs. Canyon says it will be able to be remotely locked and disabled to prevent theft, but I would think most users would probably want to be able to secure it in a garage?

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, electric-assist commuter pedal car, prototype micro car, rendering closed lid

With a roof/windshield that can be locked in either the open or closed position, depending on the weather, you can have more of a car or a recumbent feel while pedaling along.

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, electric-assist commuter pedal car, prototype micro car, rendering open top

It is clearly still a concept vehicle, so while Canyon has a lot of tech questions answered (like, yes it will have some heating to keep the windshield from fogging in the winter and it will be controlled by your smartphone), it really remains subject to change before we see one on the streets.

When can you buy a Canyon Future Mobility Concept pedal car?

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, electric-assist commuter pedal car, prototype micro car, rendering side

Canyon says they “firmly believe that the future of our cities lies with new, clean forms of mobility” and are committed to being involved in reshaping urban mobility. “Currently, we are re-orienting ourselves in the area of City & Trekking bikes, and we will focus strongly on urban mobility in a broader sense in the future. In the coming years we will launch more urban bicycle solutions, but the implementation of other concepts like this will also be intensified. The concept gives us a vision that we want to work towards – quickly.

Even if I can’t imagine myself actually wanting to ride an enclosed e-recumbent pedal car around the city, it’s cool that Canyon is thinking outside of the box with their Future Mobility Concept!

Canyon Commuter:On & Precede:On city e-bikes you can actually buy

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, Urban Mobility city e-bikes you can buy, Commuter:ON

Back to the realm of (current) reality, the future of mobility in cities now is more likely well-equipped commuter e-bikes. Canyon’s two latest options are the alloy Commuter:On built around the smooth & light Fazua motor, and the Precede:On with the more powerful Bosch powertrain.

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, Urban Mobility city e-bikes you can buy, Commuter:ON
2021 Canyon Commuter:ON 7

The aluminum-framed Commuter:On is meant to be a lightweight city e-bike for shorter rides to work and around the city. At 3300€ with either a traditional or step-through frame configuration, the Commuter:On is meant to be light & easy to manage in tight spaces and even up stairs to your apartment (just 17.2kg, size M) featuring integrated lights, fenders, and a rear rack built to haul heavy loads.

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, Urban Mobility city e-bikes you can buy, Precede: ON riding

The carbon-framed Precede:On is more of a premium option with the powerful 85Nm Bosch Performance CX motor, a 500Wh battery for 65km range, and next gen Enviolo Automatic CVT stepless shifting inside the rear hub. It takes integration even a step further at the cockpit with the brakes, lights & cycling computer all tucked into the carbon bar – and still gets full fenders, a burly rear rack, and the option for a front rack.

Canyon Future Mobility Concept, Urban Mobility city e-bikes you can buy, Preced:ON
2021 Canyon Precede:ON 9

The Precede:On also comes in a traditional or step-through frame layout, with two spec models available. The 4300€ Precede:On 8 sticks with a more conventional Shimano XT 1×12 setup, while the 5000€ Precede:On goes for the automatically shifting Enviolo CVT internally geared hub.

While we have to wait for the Future Mobility Concept to become real, both the Commuter:On & Precede:On city e-bikes are available now in Europe. Canyon confirms that they will not make it to the US market in 2021. 

Canyon.com

12 COMMENTS

  1. This is small vehicle that can be cost effective to the end user at the same time be profitable for manufacturer. Throw in some pedal assist and limit top speed and voila, its a bike, not a car and thus doesn’t carry over all the of the safety regulations required of a passenger vehicle. Ultimately this is a way to skirt regulations, such as air bags, crash tests, etc. Also the users can then take advantage of all the new dedicated bike lanes to help shorten their commute or avoid non-pedal assisted traffic.

  2. If their concept enclosed bike has more than 3 wheels it may be automatically a auto class vehicle in most countries unless they argue that electric scooter s et a 4 wheel precedent.

  3. Here in Amsterdam the Birò has gained popularity the last couple of years. Its a tiny two person electric vehicle with a roof and doors. Under law it is not a car but in the city they can not go on cycle lanes because all scooters have to go on the road within city limits. They go 45 km/h and they need to park on regular car parking spots.
    I do think there is a growing market for these type of vehicles and also with pedal assistance but different regulations per country make it complex. Governments need to do more to make it interesting. Charging is an issue as it already is with electric cars but also parking spaces. Those tiny cars take up a whole parking spot and most people still own regular car next to a Birò.
    I can not see these vehicles on cycle lanes like suggested in the article. How big are your cycle lanes? People need to be able to overtake as well…

  4. Velomobiles are not new: check out the existing Quattrovelo – which also has the option of a child seat, but weighs a lot less.

    25km/h is the limit for electrical assistance, where if used is most beneficial when starting off, or going up hills, where that speed limit is not much of an issue. Cruising at >40km/h is possible by many people without assistance on the flat.

  5. This contraption is ridiculous².

    Basically it is a 4 wheeld cargo bike in the guise of a velo-car, but at 95kg it is obese to the point were it hurts. In Rain under hard pedalling the screens will fog over in no time. The cargo boot is tiny in comparison to the vehicle dimensions. Seating only one adult + one child makes it much less versatile than a cargo bike, whcih will be much cheaper in comparison.

    Please, Canyon, build this contraption and go bankrupt over it.

  6. Didn’t Sinclair try this with the C5? That was a good idea , but didn’t take off. Maybe nows the time for these, but its very difficult to build anything better than a bike.

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