Designed by a team of Chinese and Canadian engineers, the 'Impossible' electric bike folds up and fits in your backpack.
Previous folding bicycles haven't been able to get much smaller than the size of a suitcase, and electric bicycles are often pretty heavy. The point of difference with the Impossible bike is that it weighs just 4 kg (11 pounds) and is 43 cm tall (17 inches) when folded.
"The secret to making an electric bike this small has to do with some clever design shenanigans," says Amanda Kooser at CNET. "When unfolded, the bike looks like a giant pair of weird glasses thanks to the circles-within-circles design that lets it all fold up."
Fitted with some lightweight batteries, the bike can reach speeds of up to 20 km/h for about 45 minutes on a single charge. If you're cruising slower than that, it could take you about 25 km before needing a recharge.
As Kooser points out, the bike sounds pretty great, but there are still some issues that probably need to be addressed. As you'll see in the video below, the bike doesn't have any pedals or chains, so if you run out of charge, you can't just use it like a regular bike. At least you can pack it away though.
So far, it can only support relatively light people - up to 81 kg (180 pounds) - but the creators say that's something they're working on. Plus the wheels are so tiny, there could be an issue when they're faced with anything that isn't a super-smooth road.
It's tipped to be released in August next year, and it'll cost $530.
"There's a lot about the Impossible worth getting excited about: decent price, cool design, extreme portability," says Kooser at CNET. "If the creators can answer the big lingering questions (Are there any brakes?) and deliver as expected, it could end up being a viable option for commuters looking for an easy electric way to motor around the city."
We're hoping this works out, or leads to similar, more viable designs. It's about time we started throwing some more car alternatives out there.