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The Voltitude Swiss Army Bike

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In the most hellishly cramped of urban areas, even a bicycle can be tough to deal with. Apartment living or limited access to bike racks can leave you with no place to put a bicycle, much less an electric scooter.

But if there’s one thing the Swiss know how to do… Well, it’s make chocolate. But if there are two things the Swiss know how to do, the second is fitting function into a small package.

Meet the 2011 Voltitude, a foldable electric bicycle/scooter inspired by the Swiss Army Knife. At full length, the bike is a little under 6 feet long. But when it folds up (which can be done in seconds flat), it ends up at less than half that length, at just 24 inches from front to back.

It’s powered by a lithium0ion battery, which has a range of about 25 miles on a single charge and can be recharged to full in about four hours. The bike reaches speeds of 15 miles per hour, and though it has pedal assistance, it can basically run as an electric scooter if you’re feeling a bit lazy.

It’s a bit heavy at 50 pounds, but at just two feet in length, you could store it anywhere. It would take up about the same space as a large stroller.

The bike shown in the video is a prototype, and the bike will only be available to consumers in Switzerland…and in very limited quantities at that. But if it’s successful, there’s always the possibility that it rolls out elsewhere. The whole thing brings the MIT folding car concept to mind. Or Transformers. Either one.

I’ll be really impressed when they design one that folds up into a briefcase like the Jetsons car.

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