Biga, an electric scooter, a mobility alternative

This new personal vehicle made of guadua bamboo reaches a maximum speed of 35 kms/hr. and complies with 95 Bogotá regulations on cycling routes and cycling lanes.

This is a design of Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Industrial Designer Cristian Hoyos Vera, who hopes to provide an answer to the mobility issues of the Colombian capital city.

The proposal is based on the Kando Japanese concept which means sensitivity, a term which involves gratification through experience. The scooter comes with a hub-brushless electric motor and a lithium polymer (LIPo4) battery.

UNal University Extension National Director Professor Pablo Abril and consultant to Cristian Hoyos says the scooter goes beyond the excessive traffic issue in Bogotá and is an answer to the need to re-signify mobility dynamics, providing sense to the movement experience.

In Bogotá, on average 1.3 people travel by automobile and consume the same amount of energy which 18 people would. The weight relationship between the automobile and a person is disproportionate if the average weight of the person (70 kilos) and an automobile (1,300) kilos) are considered. In other words the weight of the car is 18 times greater, a very negative indicator in terms of energy efficiency.

Therefore the proposal of Hoyos is that a personal electric vehicle given its low volume, small environmental impact and maximum speed of 35 km/hr. is suitable for cycling routes and cycling lanes.

The opportunity for a vehicle of these characteristics is greater if the projects for the city of Bogotá are considered, which will have an additional 165 kms (102.5 miles) of streets in the near future. According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Bogotá is the city with the most amount of roadways for bicycles in Latin America and has approximately 600,000 bicycle trips a day.

“If the city had quality personal electric vehicles and at reasonable prices and energy autonomy, possibly the amount of people willing to leave their vehicles for short journeys would considerably increase,” said Abril.

Therefore Biga could be a suitable transportation means if the average trip time on bicycle or taxi is approximately 25 minutes, 36 in an automobile, 56 in public transportation, 47 in TransMilenio, and 30 in motorcycle.

Agencia Noticias Unal

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