What about this TWIKE-mobile am I missing? I mean, sure, a dual electric/manpowered vehicle controlled by a joystick is kind of a nifty novelty. And that the German trike that could can achieve speeds of 50 mph with the combined effort of its lithium batteries and its driver's feet Fred Flintstone pedal, pedal, pedaling probably makes the TWIKE pretty fun to maneuver and drive. But...
What the hell kind of nonsense is a $32,000 price tag? Oh, excuse me, starting price tag? According the manufacturer, the first TWIKEs debuted in the mid-2000s, and today there are over 1,000 on the road, mostly in Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Where people are apparently rolling in disposable play money for 3-wheeled toys.
Self-described as "efficient, environmentally friendly, attractive, and sportive" the TWIKE, can log about 300 miles on a single charge. While suitable as an everyday, commuter vehicle, it also took top honors for its range at the first eRUDA, a German electric vehicle rally, logging 510 km without a recharge (the Tesla Roadster was second at 418 km). TWIKE also won the categories of Vehicle with the Highest Mileage (192,000 miles) and Team with the Most Total Miles (598,000).
The TWIKE seats 2 people and has a small compartment for luggage. Its pedal unit allows users to contribute to the electric motor's efforts at any time to boost performance--and serve as a piece of fitness equipment for the driver. OK, that second bit is mildly innovative. Get your heart rate up on the commute to the office, but let TWIKE do the grunt work on the hills so you don't show up a hot sweaty mess. Then take it for training rides on the weekends, around the neighborhood or up mountain roads, without worrying about being overtaken or grazed or plowed into a twisted heap by other cars.
Overall, I suppose the TWIKE is an original in its class and intent. And it looks--and apparently behaves--like a bullet on 3 wheels. If I had the money, I guess maybe I'd buy one. Or...maybe I'd buy a Tesla. Yeah, probably the Tesla.