three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5 uses pedals and ‘joysticks’ to drive around

three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5 uses pedals and ‘joysticks’ to drive around

Joysticks for TWIKE 5, a three-wheel electric vehicle or trike 

 

No steering wheel is in sight inside the car-looking, three-wheel electric vehicle, TWIKE 5. It only has pedals and a pair of ‘joysticks’ on the side of the pilot; both of them help the trike move and drive around like a car. There are two wheels at the back and a single tire at the front of the vehicle. The joysticks control the front wheel, and they’re connected so the pilot can technically steer with just one hand (but TWIKE recommends they use both).

 

Moving the joysticks is different from using a steering wheel. The pilot pushes the left joystick forward to turn right and the right joystick forward to turn left. The levers are mechanically connected to each other and always do exactly the opposite movement. It may feel like a real-life video game. TWIKE assures the drivers that the two joysticks still stabilize the three-wheel electric vehicle. It’s safe to make sharp turns and drive on bumpy roads; the electric trike’s manufacturer adds. It has the familiar feeling of a steering wheel, only separated by two sidesticks.

three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5
all images courtesy of TWIKE

 

 

Pedaling more means the electric motor works less

 

TWIKE 5 isn’t the first model in the series. The three-wheel electric vehicle has a sibling named TWIKE 3. The difference is that the upgraded one has about 15 times the rated power and a top speed of 190 km/h compared to its sibling’s 85 km/h. In terms of design, TWIKE 3 looks more of an airplane’s front, while TWIKE 5 resembles a city car. Both of them can accommodate two people and have electric drive, pedal assistance and side-stick steering.

 

The electric vehicle manufacturer says its three-wheel trike is the first, and only car, to combine an electric motor with a pedal drive. It feels like pedaling on a stationary bike, only that the entire vehicle is actually moving on the road. When the pilot pedals, they’re powering the vehicle, which helps the electric motor work less. This means its battery lasts longer, and they can travel farther on a single charge. TWIKE reminds the pilots that the pedals are meant to assist the electric motor. They can’t just use them alone to power the three-wheel electric vehicle.

three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5
no steering wheel in sight inside the car-looking, three-wheel electric vehicle, TWIKE 5

 

 

Joysticks with buttons for signals, lights, and the horn

 

As the pilot pedals, the system automatically adjusts the electric motor to use less power, saving battery. It’s okay for the pilot to not move the joysticks. When they do, the three-wheel electric vehicle drives straight like a regular car. They can use their thumbs to press the buttons on the joysticks. Here, they can activate the turn signals, lights, horn, and windshield wipers, to name a few.

 

In October 2023, TWIKE finished building a test version of the TWIKE 5 called a driver evaluation vehicle (FET). It included the frame, suspension, electric motor, electrical system, and the software. They’ve been driving this test vehicle around to see how it handles and how well everything works together. Based on the test, they can make improvements to the design of the TWIKE 5, like fine-tuning the handling and adjusting the interior and exterior. 

three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5
TWIKE 5 only has pedals and a pair of ‘joysticks’ on the side of the pilot

 

 

TWIKE hopes to start the production of its three-wheel electric vehicle in 2024. Since the TWIKE 5 will only be produced in a small series of 500 vehicles, the manufacturer has devised a ‘ranking’ system to figure out who gets a model. Interested pilots first reserve the TWIKE 5 on their website ‘without obligation.’

 

This means their name will be automatically put in the online ranking bowl, and if they’re included in the first 500, they can secure the TWIKE 5. If they fall behind, they can pre-order TWIKE 6, the next model in the series. As for the official date, TWIKE has yet to announce when they will deliver the three-wheel electric vehicle, when it will be on sale, and how much it’s going to cost.

three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5
there are two wheels at the back and a single tire at the front of the vehicle

three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5
the joysticks are connected so the pilot can technically steer with just one hand

three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5
moving the joysticks is similar to turning a steering wheel

twike-5-three-wheel-electric-vehicle-designboom-ban

the pilot pushes the left joystick forward to turn left and the right joystick forward to turn right

three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5
rear view of the three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5

three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5
chassis of the three-wheel electric vehicle TWIKE 5

twike-5-three-wheel-electric-vehicle-designboom-ban2

TWIKE 5 has a top speed of 190 km/h

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