SWITZERLAND: Twike combines electric and pedal power

The Twike is a three-wheel vehicle that combines an electric engine with a set of pedals. Four hundred Twikes are on the streets worldwide, the majority in Switzerland.

Created by Swiss technology students in the mid 80s, the first Twike built for sale was sold in 1995. Its design has developed over the years and now sports two seats.

The Twike’s name is taken from a combination of Two and Bike, and models cost from 24,000 Swiss francs. The company, Twike AG, is owned primarily by people who have purchased Twikes, but financing also comes from a Zurich venture capital group. Plans for further funding, including a possible share float, are in the works.

The Twike’s maximum speed is 85km per hour and its full battery range runs between 40 and 90km, depending on topography and load. The Twike does not require special power sockets – any 220/230 volt socket will recharge its battery.

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