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Electric Trikes Are Hitting the Micro-Mobility Market

The newest vehicle to come screeching into the micro-mobility market is the electric trike, a three-wheeled, battery-powered mobility gadget that aims to be sturdier than its two-wheeled e-scooter cousins [1].

The latest addition to the selection of micro-mobility vehicles comes from U.S. bike and scooter sharing service Gotcha, which now aims to expand their vehicle fleet with these silly-but-slick trikes later this year.

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Gotcha is a mobility provider that has been flying somewhat beneath the radar in the latest years of companies raving about their micro-mobility solutions, much thanks to a business model centred on providing these services to college campuses. The company’s new trikes can seat two people, has about 65 km of range per charge, and has a top speed of about 40 km/h.

Gotcha’s trike is not the first to gain attention from investors and the industry at large, where start-up companies Arcimoto and Electra Meccanica are the ones that so far have made the most notable headlines with their own unique designs of how the electric trike could look and what place it can have in our society.

 

Personal comments

The problem that the electric trike is trying to solve is the current poor unit-economics of e-scooters, where we have previously reported that the average lifespan of an e-scooter is only one to two months, while the fleet is in continuous need of repair and replacement [2]. This is also one of the main problems that investors point towards that needs fixing if the industry expects continued pay-outs and growth in coming years.

The Gotcha trike also has some technically specific advantages compared to e-scooters. Namely, they have significantly longer range (65 km vs. ~20 km) and top speed (40 km/h vs. 24 km/h) on top of being a two-person vehicle. On the other hand, trikes take up significantly more space when parked compared to e-scooters. It will be interesting to see if this discrepancy opens up the possibility for new use areas and cases as the e-scooter itself did a couple of years back.

 

Written by Darijan Jelica, RISE Viktoria.

 

Sources

1. 2019-03-01. Electric trikes are the latest battery powered gadgets to enter the ride-sharing world.

2. 2018-12-20. Electric scooter missions in 2019.