YikeBike (and -- Yikes! -- what an name!) unveiled their folding electric "minifarthing" bicycle at Eurobike.
This ebike is governed to 20 km/hr (12 mph), has lights and turn signals, integrated fenders, and can be used int he rain. According to YikeBike, this ebike will be available in Europe for about €3,500-€3,900 sometime in the middle of 2010.
Old fashioned penny farthings are notoriously dangerous because the center of gravity is high and biased toward the front of the bike, which easily results in a header if the bike comes to a quick stop. YikeBike assures potential consumers that their minifarthing design is safe through the use of electric anti lock brakes, and they claim their side handlebars mitigate the risk catapulting off the bike, but it's not the handlebars that do the catapulting -- it's the bike.
Like Bryant I can see the utility of something like this for somebody who wants low impact transportation but without too much exertion. It's like Segway, but simpler.
Remember when I mentioned that Google Maps bike routing is in internal beta at Google? For bike trip time, they're using an 8 mph average speed. 12 mph is a moderate pace for enthusiasts like us, but for the average couch potato 12 mph is an all out effort.