(michal froněk) A spatial aluminum frame, luran S thermoplastic material made by Basf, a joystick instead of the steering wheel, a cockpit profiled into the shape of a cone – this is how the future of transport in the 21st century may look like.
The first prototype of the Twike three-wheeler was made in 1986; its small-lot production started in 1996. The man behind the idea is Swiss Ralf Schnyder, who came up with an interesting technical solution in the form of a hybrid drive – a combination of pedaling with an electric motor. The ETH in Zurich, which is synonymous with top quality, participated in the development and calculations.
The latest version of the two-seater is 2,659 mm long and weighs 170 kg without batteries. After the recharge, Twike is able to travel around 200 km. The user can watch the entire process of energy recovery during braking, the number of calories burnt during pedaling, and the state of accumulators on a display located in the cockpit, which is covered with safety glass. The acceleration is rather satisfactory thanks to the flyweight: the vehicle accelerates from zero to 60 km/h in 9 seconds. The maximum speed is ca 85 km/h. The capacity of the boot is 250 l.
One can choose from two versions: either the Active model, in which the driver and co-driver pedal, or the Easy model, which is a purely electric variant with a comfortable seat by Sparco. So far, around 1,000 pieces have been made. The demand was so big last year that production was sold out for months.
Unfortunately, I have not driven the Twike; but I hope to do so in the 21st century.