Just a few weeks ago I read an article about a study of real power consumption of electric cars. The efficiency largely depends not only on the mass, but as well on baterry temperature and average cruising speed. To make the long story short: A 2 ton electric vehicle is not green, which is no secret to anyone who did the math on the matter or tried to push that thing manually. Even the smaller electric cars do consume significantly more Energy in real life than measured in clinical environments. As an alternative, the article linked to the German Twike page - an 0.2 ton electric vehicle with pedals for two persons with a max speed of more than 50 mph and an average consumption of just 5 kWh per 100 km (without pedalling).
Intrigued by the concept, Kathrin and I went for an instruction course and test drive in Zurich, Switzerland. Thomas from bemoto.ch has half a dozen Twikes in his workshop. He'd introduce us how to operate the Twike, and take each of us out for a test ride. We'd ride a small street up and down a few times, and than cruise in the middle of Zurichs traffic madness.
Having accomplished that part, Kathrin and I drove in another Twike (with small wheels) to Greifensee and Züriberg in hope to get away from the commuter traffic. The later was somewhat an illusion, and the car drivers overtook us careless as if we were on bicycles, even though we rode some 40mph. However, our maneuvering skills improved hour by hour.
A short word on the concept: Unlike the ebikes, a Twike is accelerated by a two-stage push button on the steering (that is a liter like thing between the seats). To reduce speed, there is a recuperation push button underneath the accelerator. So one acutally just needs two fingers to operate the Twike. With the recuperation brakes, the battery is reloaded. That is, for 300 elevation feet downhill, the Twike gains an additional 3 miles range.The brake and acceleration buttons come with a cruise control feature. Give the fact that the Twike is in production since almost 20 years, it is an excellent engineering masterpiece with lots of modern features. Just a little wiggely and wobbely at times :-)
There is just enough room for the legs, and just enough room for small scale camping equipent. And thus - we are looking forward to use the Twike for a real mission soon - hopefully in less traffic :-)