The first muscle-powered car is coming to the market, it will be anything but cheap

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The first muscle-powered car is coming to the market, it will be anything but cheap

At 50 km/h, 10 to 20 percent of the driving power can come from muscle power. The new car is called Twike 5 and is going into serial production, and its biggest feature is that it is pedal-powered like a bike. Unlike classic cars, the Twike 5 does not have a standard steering wheel but side sticks that enable precise steering without fatigue even over long distances and at high speeds.

The German manufacturer called this concept "Human Power Hybrid", and the driver and passenger assist the battery that drives the 95-horsepower electric motor by turning the pedals. "The slower you drive, the more efficient the exercise.

At 50 kilometers per hour, 10 to 20 percent of the driving power can come from muscle power," the text states. This unique car has two batteries in circulation of 18 kWh and 36 kWh, which enable autonomy of 250 and 500 kilometers.

According to the performed tests, the consumption of the car should be only 7.3 kWh/100 km. The aerodynamic body and the weight of the vehicle itself, which is 600 kilograms, contribute to this. With a large battery, it can reach a maximum speed of 190 kilometers per hour, and with a smaller one, up to 130 kilometers per hour.

The vehicle is only 332 centimeters long and the manufacturer is planning a small series of 500 cars, which will be available by the end of the year. The Twike 5 was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019, and can now be purchased at a price of 39,900 to 49,900 euros, the Energy Portal reports.

The price is from 39,900 to 49,900 euros. The factory is in the small town of Rosenthal, not far from Frankfurt.

The History of Twike

The Twike I was developed for the 1986 World EXPO in Vancouver, Canada, by a group of Swiss students.

It won the "Functionality Award" for the best ergonomic design in the Innovative Vehicle Design Competition (IVDC) and a first prize in the International Human Powered Vehicle Speed Championship . The Twike I was completely driven by human power.

Inspired by the success of the Twike I, a group of enthusiasts including Ralph Schnyder and Peter Zeller began to develop the Twike II as a step towards a vehicle for everyday road use. It was developed in cooperation with Alusuisse-Lonza Holding, was shown on the HEUREKA exhibition in Zürich, and took part in the 1991 Tour de Sol Alpin.

The Twike II had a belt pedal drive with infinitely variable mechanical transmission and a DC motor powered by NiCd batteries to help propel the vehicle. The suitability for everyday use turned out to be significantly improved.

In 1992, the newly founded Twike Ltd. decided to develop the Twike II into a production vehicle and began looking for capital and customers. Production of the Twike III began in 1995 and during 1996 the reformed Twike AG produced and sold 190 vehicles, mostly in Switzerland and Germany.

The Twike III was already equipped with an asynchronous AC motor and 336V NiCd batteries, the system still in use today. The pedal drive was simplified to a 5-speed hub gear and was included in all but very few special order vehicles.

In 1998, FINE Mobile GmbH launched its German Twike production line and finally became the exclusive producer of the Twike after taking over the rights of the SwissLEM AG in 2002. Today the Twike is produced in Rosenthal, a small village in Hessen near Marburg.

Pricing for a Twike starts at about €33.000 (as of 2021 per the website). By 2011, 900 were claimed to have been sold.[4] 2010, team TW4XP took part at the Automotive X Prize in the US with their Twike-based TW4XP human-electric hybrid vehicle (Twike 4). (Source: Wikipedia)