Car, bike or helicopter? The Twike has an E-Motor, joystick and pedals. With almost 27,000 euros, it is more expensive than a Golf Variant. A visit to the creators.
- Rights of use
Martin Möscheid rotates the virtual vehicle model on his screen in all directions. He zooms in it, makes the body disappear, the underlying electric motor to more accurately look. Two clicks of the mouse and you can look into the Interior of the drive. A quick check, then the vehicle will be wrapped in its plastic body and the virtual journey continues in the Cockpit.
Möscheid vehicle developers. However, in the case of VW, BMW or Mercedes, but the electric car manufactory Twike. Together with nine colleagues, he sits in a two-storey house in the peaceful 2000-strong community of Rosenthal in Hesse, Germany. From here, he sold the electric car, that was until a few years ago one of the best selling in the whole of Europe – the Twike 3.
“Fancy a test drive?”, ask Möscheid and shows on the three-wheeled vehicle, which has the Form of a fast train. The developer pulls up the hood that looks like the Cockpit of a jet slowly and access the inside of the car. After one has settled in the bucket seats down, you can look forward to a centrally arranged Display, a joystick, could be installed in a helicopter, and a further lever, which is reminiscent of a hand brake. What doesn’t fit into the picture, the bike pedals in the footwell of the driver and the passenger. “The pedals are used to support the electric motor, whereby the range of the Twikes of up to 15 percent may be extended,” explains Möscheid the unusual vehicle concept. The 50-Year-old is a trained Car mechanic and a machine Builder.
Has begun the story of the light electric vehicle with a student project. For the world Expo 1986 in Vancouver, students developed the EHT Zurich, the Ur-Twike: a two-seater Bicycle with a car body, at that time still without E-Motor and a weight of 50 kilograms. By pedaling, the Twike reached up to 50 kilometers per hour. After years of development, the newly founded Swiss Twike AG, in 1995, presented a series of Mature Twike 3. Although the vehicle should have sold, was the company’s 2002 bankruptcy. Möscheid, belonged together with his brother to the first buyers of the Twikes and involved in the development, sales and marketing, the E-Mobil since 1998 as an importer in Germany. He bought the Twike 3 and built, it will be in the Hessian town of Rosenthal in-house. “So we saved the Twike in the modern era,” says Möscheid, releases the hand brake, press the small button on the control stick to open the throttle, and rolled silently out of the hall.
Lying on the country road
Thanks to the electric motor of the Twike accelerates quickly. You get used to the unusual lying position, you can quickly find Like to sweep on three wheels, with around 60 km/h on the country road. Möscheid navigates the vehicle with fine movements of the joystick on the winding route. He presses the top button, and accelerates the Twike to up to 85 km/h. he Presses the bottom of the brakes, the electric car slowly and evenly and recovers energy for the battery. Even a cruise control is in the Twike. If Möscheid must initiate an emergency brake, he used the pedals – just like riding a bike with a coaster brake.
Electric car with pedals:
“Actually, you don’t need the pedals. But we wanted to lead the thoughts of the first Twike, which was designed as a Bicycle”, so Möscheid. The adjustable pedal drive unit in addition to the range extension of a fitness function. “Many of our customers buy the Twike also because of the sporting aspect. You want to engage in during the journey and the emission-free Twike is not only the environment, but also do your body some Good.” The level of difficulty on a five-speed circuit rules. Theoretically, the Twike to 20 km/h can also be used exclusively on the pedals to drive. “Given the weight of 270 kg, the pedal is operating from the smallest pitch to be exhausting,” says Möscheid, as he rolls with the Twike back to the farm.
Up to 560 km range
In the basic version of the 2,65 metres long, the Twike 3 has a rechargeable battery and a reach of up to 80 kilometers. Up to a maximum of seven batteries in the E-mobile space, which is sufficient for distances of up to 560 kilometers. The charging time on household socket Moescheid a Minute per km range. Is driven the Twike of an asynchronous motor with three kilowatts of continuous – and seven kilowatts of peak power. The Twike falls as a “three-wheeled motor vehicle 45 km/h” in the vehicle category L5E, and can be driven with a normal Car license. The safety requirements are, however, other than the car, for example, it does not have Airbags.
Be made the vehicles, which since its Premiere in 1995, more than 1000 pieces to customers were delivered in hand. A total of ten employees work in the Headquarters in Rosenthal, three of them in the workshop. “After the individual components are delivered, the on-site Assembly per Twike around 70 hours,” says Möscheid. Since the components are not produced in large numbers, they are correspondingly expensive. The base price of the Twike 3 begins, therefore, with 26.849 Euro. Who would like to order more from the range, paint, a sound system or other tools, lands even beyond the 50,000 Euro. Möscheids customers afford the Twike often as a third vehicle, short-range sporty and eco-friendly travel, to drive, for example, in order to work.
Succession model creates 190 km/h
In the long term Möscheid and his Team plan to produce the Twike in larger quantities and lower the price significantly. In order to do that, is already tinkering on a follow-up model. In 2010, the Twike 4 was presented, it was planned from the beginning, but only as a prototype and test vehicle. Meanwhile, the development of the Twike 5 are already in full swing. The vehicle could go, if everything goes as planned, in the spring of 2019 in the sale.
The fifth-Generation should have significantly more power than the previous model, with a maximum speed of up to 190 km/h and a range of 550 kilometers. It is planned first of a small series of 500 copies. The Twike 6 is then produced final figures in larger quantities and thus also more interesting for a wider group of buyers. While the mechanics of mounting a bright yellow Twike 3, sits Möscheid a floor higher again on his computer before his virtual Twike. “Number 147”, calls Moescheid down and is happy about another pre-order of the Twike 5. With 200 reservations the production begins. “So we have to do a lot.”