The correct answer is probably: door number three — “neither, it's a different vehicle that is somewhere between both of them”.
I've had a re-read recently of Frederik Van De Walle's Master's Thesis “The Velomobile as a Vehicle for more Sustainable Transportation” (freely available to download from his site); and while I've never used the term “Sociotechnical Frame”, I've come across a fair amount of misunderstanding about velomobiles while I've been developing the Atomic Duck where I tend to say something like:
It's not a bike or a car, it's somewhere in between.
Typically, a velomobile gets seen as either a type of large bike, because it uses bicycle components; or as a type of small car, because it is enclosed (velomobiles are often mistaken for being some kind of small electric vehicle). But an observer that views a velomobile as either a type of car or a type of bicycle will automatically tend towards a negative comparisons of it,
i.e. “A velomobile is not as good an automobile as a car”:
It's slower than a car
It has less range than a car
There is less luggage capacity
It only carries one person
It takes more effort to travel, there is no engine.
or “A velomobile is not as good a bike as a bicycle”:
It's heavier than a bike
It's wider than a bike
It's more expensive than a bike
But if velomobiles are seen as a separate vehicle choice, much like a motorbike is seen as being distinct from either a bike or a car, it's easier to see where the advantages of a velomobile lie.
A velomobile has many of the the advantages that a bicycle has over a car:
Costs less to run
More mechanically simple, so there is less to maintain.
Emits less harmful emissions
Healthier for the rider through them exercising
And some of the advantages that the car has over the bicycle:
Offers protection from the elements
Is faster (through better aerodynamics)
Has more luggage carrying capacity
Has a greater range because of increased rider comfort.
“There are today three vehicle categories: the bicycle, the motorcycle and the automobile. The velomobile is the fourth one: the difference between a bicycle and a velomobile is like the difference between a motorcycle and an automobile (-cycle to –mobile dimension); and the difference between an velomobile and an automobile is like the difference between a bicycle and a motorcycle.” — Frederik Van De Walle, “The Velomobile as a Vehicle for more Sustainable Transportation”