Liberty Trike ain't your grandpa's mobility scooter – but it could beView gallery - 5 images
Although mobility scooters may be a godsend to the elderly and other people who have difficulty getting around, they certainly don't provide much in the way of exercise. Electric Bike Technologies' folding Liberty Trike is designed to change that. Riders can use it in plain ol' throttle mode just like on a regular scooter, but they can also pedal if they want.
The Liberty Trike features a 750-watt front hub motor powered by a removable 36-volt/10-Ah lithium iron phosphate battery pack. It charges in about three hours, and has a range of over 24 miles (39 km).
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Unlike a full-on electric bike, however, its intended use isn't so much zipping down roads as it is cruising sidewalks or even stores – therefore, its top motor-only speed is limited to 7.5 mph (12 km). With that in mind, and also unlike an e-bike, it can make 360-degree on-the-spot turns. Additionally, its 25-inch (63.5-cm)-wide rear end should be able to easily fit through most doorways, plus it has a 3 mph (4.8 km/h) reverse gear.
Riders select the amount of pedal assistance that they want via a bar-mounted LCD control unit, which also displays stats such as current speed and battery charge level.
While the whole trike tips the scales at 70 lb (32 kg), it can be separated into two halves that weigh about 35 lb (16 kg) each – a handy feature when it needs to be transported or taken up stairs. It can carry loads of up to 300 lb (136 kg).
Electric Bike Technologies is now raising production funds for the Liberty Trike, on Indiegogo. A pledge of US$999 will currently get you one, if all goes according to plans. The estimated retail price is $1,998.
You can see the trike in action, in the video below.