Studies by Pike Research have recently suggested that by 2016, there will be 466 million electric two-wheeled vehicles on the road, with China as the dominant force behind 95% of the sales. That seems like a huge number, but it’s just the beginning. With the interest in e-vehicles rising at an astronomical rate worldwide, it’s now time for companies to make some innovative strides in engineering. California’s Trikke promises to deliver, showcasing their new line of three-wheeled electric vehicles called the Tribred EV at CES 2012, putting the entire Segway market to shame. And it’s about time.
What I like about it is that it looks like a scooter but handles like a skateboard. There’s three new models to choose from: the 48V, the 36V, and the 36 Vlite. The 48V is at the apex of the electric bike spectrum, powered by a rechargeable Panasonic lithium-ion battery, it can handle up to about 24 miles on a single charge and weighs in at around 36-48 pounds (battery included). It’s got enough torque to get your chubby butt up an average sized hill at speeds up to 16 mph, thanks to its 350 watt motor and it’s so easy to use a third grader could leave you eating dust faster than you can fumble to get it out of the back seat of your Prius. And yes, it collapses easily to store or transport, so those interiors stay pristine – that is, unless you took it onto muddy terrain.
The three-wheeled nature of this contraption allows for super easy maneuverability in really tight corners, and it’s highly flexible and super stable – you can carve into turns like on a snowboard since the whole contraption leans with you. The other two models are scaled down slightly compared to the 48V. The 36V has a 250 watt motor, and carries about 10-16 miles per charge, and the 36 Vlite is featured as the “fitness” e-bike, complete with rugged tires, and a smaller 180 watt motor. You only get 6-10 miles for every charge on this one, and only runs about 9 mph but it’s still a great little toy. You even get a decent workout, since it allows you to use your legs and arms to help propel yourself, and for those who are a little more adventurous, there’s lots of cool new tricks to be learned. There’s even ski attachments so you can shred on snow!
There’s lot of professional applications too – policing, airport staffing, parking inspectors, private security, tour rentals, warehouse logistics, meter reading, and hotel and resort mobility can all benefit from the Trikke. Quiet, zero emissions, affordable, low maintenance, easy to adapt to, and apparently, you can even climb escalators with it – what more could you ask for?
Check out their website to view all the models and get more info.