Twike; Not A Three Year Old Saying Trike

Twike; Not A Three Year Old Saying Trike

When we think of electric cars and hybrid vehicles most of us conjure in our mind vehicles that are pretty recent, such as the Toyota Prius or the Ford C-Max. Most of these cars have been in production for just over a decade and you would want to think that mass producing energy efficient EV models was a pretty recent thing. Well apparently the idea of mass producing these vehicles dates back to as far as 1986 and it was not a car, a bus, a plane or even a bike; but a Twike.

It was first developed in Switzerland and then was moved to Germany for financial reasons, from there the rest is pretty much history…and present. It is the only human-electric hybrid currently mass-produced: vehicle number 1000 recently rolled off the assembly line. They are steered by a joystick and pedals are used for propelling. Inside looks pretty much like a cockpit of an aircraft, as such Twike drivers were nicknamed pilots. It interesting to know though, that the Twike is not solely moved by pedal power and as the TWIKE picks up speed in EV mode, you have to pedal harder to feel as though you are not spinning in the air. The upside to this vehicle is the commute. You do not have to worry about rush-hour traffic.

The question is; is it practical? Twike lacks much of the convenience of the modern car. Sure you get to sit side-by-side with a passenger, and a small amount of cargo can be stowed behind the seats in the battery compartment. Still, consider the price of this vehicle; €40,000. That is with no paint and 5 Li-Ion batteries. One may want to consider this when purchasing this model over a Tesla or the fact that in the World Advanced Vehicle Expedition (WAVE) rally from Genoa (Italy) to Amsterdam (The Netherlands) in 2012, TWIKE tied with a Tesla for 1st place.


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