Last week, eagle-eyed but confused Twitter users spotted yet another Veemo on the streets of San Francisco, wondering what the “pedal pod” was doing here and how long it would be before such contraptions inundate the city alongside e-scooters, rental bikes, and similar Silicon Valley conveyances.
But the Vancouver-based company tells Curbed SF it has no plans to expand to the Bay Area right now as it concentrates on getting on the road full-time in its own hometown.
Founded in 2013 (with $2.6 million Canadian in funding, according to Crunchbase), VeloMetro Mobility Incorporated describes its service as a “network of three-wheeled, electric-assisted velomobiles” dubbed “Veemos.”
A velomobile is classified as an “electric-assisted bike” with a design similar to a recumbent bike, but “with many of the comforts you’d find in a car,” including “an electric-assisted drivetrain which helps you get up to speed quickly” and “tackle steep hills.”
For the purposes of the law, a velomobile still counts as a bicycle and doesn’t require a license.
Seems like the kind of thing someone would inevitably want to roll onto the streets of San Francisco.
But when one first appeared on Market Street in November, the company was quick to claim that its representatives were only in town on business and had brought along some of its vehicles for demonstration purposes—not to begin a San Francisco launch.
And they’re sticking to that story; VeloMetro Mobility spokesperson Anthony Miller tells Curbed SF that last week’s sighting was more of the same.
“We’re just in SF for meetings and demos. Not launching into the city anytime soon,” said Miller via email. “Our first launch city is Vancouver later this year.”
The company concluded its first pilot program at the University of British Columbia in April and has been pushing for a full Vancouver launch ever since.
All of these meetings and demos might be to tempt potential investors into backing Veemos in Canada and elsewhere. Or they could be the initial seeds of a hypothetical future SF push too.
But for right now, SF velomobiles are classified as occasional oddities rather than harbingers.