Four-wheeled Screecher electric pedalcycle rolls on solar power
Screecher – out of Yarmouth, Maine – describes its four-wheel drive, two seat, solar-powered, folding pedalcycle as fun, affordable, practical and Earth-friendly. Riders can zip up to 15 mph on motor power alone, or choose from five levels of pedal assist. The onboard battery can be plugged in for a top up, or users can park up in a sunny spot and let the solar panels do their thing.
"Our goal was to solve a particular problem: the lack of affordable, electric-powered, carbon-neutral transportation," said Screecher's President Leslie Gillert in a press release. "We did not set out to build an expensive and over-engineered product, available to only a few. Our design is elegant, functional, and simple, which offers greater stability, comfort, and easier maintenance."
The Screecher looks like a comfortable ride, sporting padded seating for two, though only the rider in front does any pedaling, and there doesn't appear to be any foot rests for the passenger. There's room for cargo too, or a trailer can be towed to the rear.
And if you're using the pedalcycle as a last mile transport solution, it folds down for transport in larger cars or SUVs. At 120 lb (54 kg) though, you may need some help getting it into the trunk.
Its two 350 W electric motors are reported capable of getting the rider up to 15 mph from a standing start in 5 seconds. The Screecher has a 20 mile motor-only range, but that can be extended using the five available pedal assist modes, and the 100 W solar panel up top is claimed to charge up the 48 V/12.8 Ah Li-ion battery in four hours, though this seems a tad optimistic. It can be plugged into the mains when the sun isn't shining and regen braking might eke a little more range out of the battery.
"You can pedal for miles including steep hills, even if you're not quite as fit as a younger you," explained CEO Dave Eshelman in a blog post. "You can commute to work, by-passing traffic and hassles. You can go with a friend on a wooded trail, and converse without noise pollution. You can dash to the grocery store and attach a small trailer to bring home the goods. How you use your Screecher is entirely up to you."
There's an LCD trip computer with an odometer and speedo – and which shows pedal assist level, battery charge level and engages cruise control. And a rear-view mirror, a removable windshield and a safety flag included in the package too.
The Screecher is currently up for pre-order at US$2,500, with production set to start next month. And if you're wondering about the name, Eshelman has an answer for you. "Like a Screech Owl, Screecher is a quiet, quick, and beautiful creation," he said. "Screech Owls are also wise, clear-eyed, and fearlessly looking towards the future. Designing and building beautiful, fearlessly practical, and forward-looking electric transportation is our passion."
You can see the four-wheeler in action in the video below.
Update November 8, 2018: Screecher has confirmed that there are footrests for the passenger, which fold away when not in use.
Product page: Screecher