So here at EcoGeek we love to talk about super-efficient green cars, even when they don't look so great. People might think you're crazy, but after you tell them how far you can go on a two-gallon tank of gas, maybe they'll start to question their own insanity. So when we came across the Twike, we got pretty excited.
The Twike was originally designed by a bunch of students in Switzerland in the '80s and then taken on by a German firm for production. While it may look like the usual "bizarre" electric vehicle (it's fully electric, zero emissions), taking a look inside reveals that you can actually pedal to produce up to 500 watts in tandem with a passenger to extend the range of the car by up to 50%. Now THAT'S new!
The car is steered using a joystick configuration, much like in an airplane, and has the accelerator and brakes (regenerative brakes of course) operated by buttons built into the stick. Awesomely geeky! The batteries are lithium-ion and can be charged from a regular household outlet, though slower here than in Europe, where it charges at a rate of about 1km potential per minute. Of course at 12.5 miles per KWh, which is the equivalent of 565 mpg, charging overnight is fine by me! The range on a single charge is anywhere from 20-90 miles depending on driving conditions (and how in shape your legs are!).
They talk about "Grey energy" on their website, the amount of energy used to produce a vehicle, which in this case is 8,400 KWh, compared to 42,000 KWh for a conventional car. What's the best line from their website though?
"Tailpipes? We don't need no stinking tailpipes." Sweet!
$26,000 US might seem like a lot for a glorified electric bicycle, but amazingly they are sold out for 2007 in North America and are taking orders for 2008. It might not take you on cross-country tours (unless you are in great shape), but as a commuter verhicle, what better way to get to and from that lazy office job and stay in shape?
Check out a video of the thing in action after the jump.
written by weee recycling, December 12, 2007
|< Prev||Next >|