In the USA, Colorado-based company, Echo3 Energy is introducing the Echo3, an electric three-wheeler. The light electric vehicle is being pitched as a supplementary vehicle for shorter trips and commutes.
The Echo3 trike seats three passengers and has a top speed of around 56 kph (35 mph) with a range of about 80 kilometres (50 miles). The battery-electric vehicle can fully charge in approximately four hours with a standard extension cord and household socket.
In announcing the start of sales of the light electric vehicle, Echo3 Energy highlights the fact that the average commute in the USA is 16 miles (around 26 kilometres) and typical errands such as going to the grocery store generally only add up to a 3-mile round trip. “This little thing offers some truly practical daily utility,” says Rex Halbeisen, President of Echo3. “It’s easy to drive, to manoeuvre in congested areas, and to park. It’s good for the environment. And it’s good for your pocketbook.”
The Denver-based company sees its customer base as being college students, urban dwellers, small-town residents, downsizing seniors, and the environmentally-conscious. However, the pricing of $6,995 may exclude some of these drivers already. Yet what you get is some of the mod cons of larger vehicles such as a sunroof, Bluetooth stereo and reverse camera.
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“The Echo3 has been in development for several years,” said Jeremiah Buck, Founder and Director of product development of Echo3 Energy. “We have a street-legal vehicle that is ‘Efficient Electric Energy.’ That is how the Echo3 name originated: three Es echoing into the environment, making a difference, especially as the world examines new normal.” Echo3 Energy is a subsidiary of Tread Global, Inc., a product safety-testing and development company founded by Buck in 2010.
The company says that impulse for creating the Echo3 was the need for clean, convenient, efficient and affordable transportation. This is something the company sees as being heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic where fresh air and space on city streets has become a higher priority for both governments and consumers alike.
These consumer needs have not gone unnoticed by both traditional carmakers as well as new companies. In February just passed, Citroën presented an electric two-seater called the Ami. Just last month we reported that Kia is considering an ultra-small electric car. An innovative light electric vehicle from Poland called Triggo is already set for series production in 2021. This electric light vehicle that can retract in width from 148 to 86 centimetres if necessary thanks to a variable chassis and is initially targeting the vehicle-sharing market with the 1+1-seater. All of these vehicles, however, only seat two people. It will be interesting to see if the Echo3 experiences a market advantage of being able to seat three adult passengers.