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The Velomobile

The most well-known velomobile is “The Phantom” and its blueprints are still available from Hobbex. Even though roughly 100.000 copies of the blueprints have been sold throughout the years, only very few Fantoms have actually been built.

To estimate the power needed in order to move a vehicle forward at a certain speed, the following calculator may be used. For a more precise calculator, that also takes into account wheel type, among other things, go to: www.kreuzotter.de Speed and Power Calculator .

N.B: When using decimals please use a full stop, not a comma.
Speed: km/h
Vehicle weight: kg (including driver)
Vehicle height: m
Vehicle width: m
Power needed: W


Feel free to read Calle Sundevall’s entertaining article (in Swedish):
“The Velomobile craze of the 1940’s”..


A modern velomobile’s usual weight is about 30 kg and a CW of about 0.12-0.13, or including the front area (CWA) about 0.065 – 0.07. The front area is usually about 0.5 m2.
A power of 250 watts means a speed of around 45-50 km/h for a velomobile, depending on the type of tyre used. 100 watts are enough to move it forward at a speed of 25 km/h and were it to be covered with 1.5 m2 bendable thin film solar cells; it would be possible to drive it infinitively at that speed!

The term bicycle/bike is a term used for a vehicle designated to transport one or more people and which has at least two wheels, pedals or cranking devices and which does not have an engine. A vehicle which has an electric engine with a top power power of 250 W may also be referred to as a bicycle, providing that the engine only works while pedalling and is disabled no later than the speed level reaching 25 km/h.