Walking Bicycle: Electric-powered personal commuter for elderly
A Japanese auto part manufacturer, Katyama Kogyo has come up with a tricycle for the elderly called Walking Bicycle which is cool enough to become young people’s personal commuter too. The stand-up tricycle is assisted by an electric motor that makes it reach top speeds of 24 km/h as the user steps on its pedals alternately. The electric assistance of the tricycle has a brushless motor and lithium-ion rechargeable battery that can be juiced up in around 2 hours using any household power outlet in your garage. On one charge the tricycle goes around 20 km on flat road and the number may vary on gradients.
Walking Bicycle will hit the Japanese markets in July for a price of under US$3,000 and the company is aiming at selling more than 100,000 units per year in three years. Since the company is planning such huge numbers we can expect the Walking Bicycle to sell in worldwide markets too. Considering its clever design and the dexterity it would provide in crowded city streets, buyers will take it with both hands. The only concern is the steep price which I think should drop once it is mass produced.