The Twike Team.
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The Twike is a human-electric hybrid vehicle (HEHV)/light electric vehicle (LEV) designed to carry two passengers and cargo. It can be driven in electric-only mode or electric + pedal power mode.
Pedaling extends the range of the vehicle but does not substantially add to the vehicle's top speed. The vehicle cannot be driven solely by using pedal power. Regenerative antilock braking captures energy from deceleration to recharge computer-controlled batteries.
Constructed of lightweight materials (like aluminium and plastic), this 246 kg (542 lb) (unladen) tricycle vehicle uses a 336 volt, 3.3 kilowatt-hour nickel-cadmium battery or a 6 kilowatt-hour nickel metal hydride battery and 3 kilowatt electric motor for primary power to the drivetrain. The battery can be fully recharged from a common 230V house outlet in 1.5 to 2 hours (NiMH: 3 hours). Additional energy is reclaimed while driving through regenerative braking, and load is removed from the electric system by use of the pedalling system which transfers its input directly to the drivetrain (ie, both systems operate in parallel, not in series).
Twike owners, who often refer to themselves as Twike pilots, host periodic gatherings and tours in Europe and the United States to popularize the vehicle and celebrate its driving experience, which enthusiasts describe as an entertaining form of cardio-vascular exercise. Hosted primarily by the TWIKE KLUB organizations in Switzerland and Germany, such events have included rallies and tours of Europe and the U.S.
Method of Operation.
In motion, the Twike is controlled using a single joystick, more akin to the tiller on a sailboat than a computer 'drive-by-wire' joystick. It is generally capable of speeds up to 85 kilometers per hour (53 mph). Fully charged, the vehicle is capable of travelling between 40 and 90 kilometers (25–55 miles) per charge on the NiCd batteries, and up to 140 kilometers (90 miles) per charge on NiMh, depending on terrain, speed, driving style, weight of passengers and cargo, and of course the amount of pedaling by the pilot and passenger.
The Twike's on-board computer controls all aspects of battery charging, discharging and power utilization. Modification of user-controllable system parameters can significantly affect performance, yielding faster or slower acceleration and longer or shorter ranges (American Twike enthusiasts have reported achieving speeds in excess 105 km/h (65 mph)).
The production of Twike is sold out till June 2009.
They are now are taking reservations for the second half of the year 2009.
Prices start at approximately $35,000, delivered.
(text source: Wikipedia)
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