A startup out of Japan called Icoma has developed a prototype for an electric motorbike that can be folded for easy storage. The company plans on bringing the Tatamel to production at some point in the future.
Electric vehicles of all types are an enjoyable form of transportation, but parking and charging can be an issue, especially if you live in a dense urban environment and don’t have outdoor space. Or if you don’t feel safe leaving an expensive bike outside. Fortunately the Tatamel folds up when not in use to look almost like a desktop PC tower; the front wheel and a set of fold-down wheels make it easy to drag the folded-up bike around with a handle.
In pictures, Icoma demonstrates that the bike, when folded up, fits under a standard desk, meaning you could show up to work and inconspicuously charge up your vehicle. Your colleagues would be none the wiser.
Not so fast — In terms of performance, the Tatamel is a pretty standard-fare electric motorbike. It’s powered by a 600-watt motor that delivers a top speed of 25 miles per hour and a maximum range of around 31 miles.
Local regulations on electric two-wheels vary by state, but you might need a driver’s license to operate the Tatamel in the U.S., since it doesn’t have standard bicycle pedals. At such relatively slow speeds, however, you probably won’t get too much hassle from police so long as you’re riding in the bike line. In Japan, the Tatamel is classified as a moped.
Other features of the bike include front and rear suspension, a full LED-lighting system, and the ability to charge other devices from the battery. There’s no word on pricing or release date yet.