Electric scooters are becoming an increasingly viable form of economical and eco-friendly urban transport. That said, many of them aren't set up to do much more than carry a single rider. Begium's Neerman Transport is looking to change that, with its decidedly unique-looking johanson3 electric cargo trike.
Although it's described as a cargo vehicle, the johanson3 is first and foremost designed to carry both a driver and passenger. The front "seat" can be configured to allow the driver either to sit, or to pilot the trike in a sort of leaning-back/standing position. Its designers point out that this option should allow women to drive it while wearing skirts.
Additionally, by shifting their weight through their feet, drivers can cause the trike to tilt into the turns – the amount of tilt can be set by the user.
The passenger sits in the very back, gripping hand-holds to either side of the driver. Cargo boxes can alternately be installed in this seating area. The front and back sections of the vehicle can be detached from one another, and folded up for transport in a car, train or other form of transit, if needed.
Four main models of johanson3 are planned, optimized for urban use, hauling capacity, speed, or use by youth. In the case of the Urban 2+ model, which seems to be the standard version of the trike, two hub-mounted rear motors will take it to a top speed of 28 mph/45 km/h (depending on the country). Depending on how enthusiastically it's driven, the trike's battery should allow for a range of up to 38 miles (61 km) per charge.
It has a payload capacity of 485 lb (220 kg). By contrast, the burlier Rhino model can haul 660 lb (300 kg), and can seat two passengers in the back.
Neerman Transport is currently running a crowdfunding campaign, taking preorders to finance production of the johanson3. Prices range from US$2,260 to $3,900, depending on the model.
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