TdS Report #26: Team Profile: Twike
The last time we saw a Twike at the Tour de Sol was 1996. Then as now it was a
two person, electrically assisted, fully enclosed, pedal powered, 3-wheel
vehicle that turned heads.
Ron Manganiello lives in Burlington Vermont, where he works for the Burlington
Electrical Department. He does energy efficiency work for small commercial
customers. "I've always had an interest in bicycling and electric vehicles.
For 4 years I commuted to work, just a few miles, and to customer sites that
were relatively close." About 1997, as he approached 50 years of age he got
tired of the winter commute, which was mostly difficult because of cars and
slush. He started searching on the world wide web for enclosed bicycles and
there was the Twike. He eventually located the Twike that was in the 1996
Tour, visited the owner, T. B. Woods who makes the inverter/charger for the
Twike. The next stop was Electric Vehicles Northwest in Seattle that sold
Twikes. There he took a longer test ride and really fell in love with it. "My
wife asked, `If you were living alone would you have a Twike?'" The answer was
`yes'. "She said, `Then let's do it.'" And they did. They were able to go to
Switzerland and participate the the building of their Twike. "It was a
wonderful experience!" The vehicle was delivered in June 15, 1999. "We had to
pretend it was a moped for two weeks until the new Vermont law came into effect
that allowed registration. It has been on the road ever since, year round.
I've got 13,400 kilometers on it. It's my main transport."
The vehicle is 3-wheels. The front wheel steers, the rear wheels are powered
both by the people peddling and the electric motor. The people sit side-by-
side. The pedals are out in front, like a recumbent bicycle. The steering
control is between the people, so either person can steer.
The electric assist is controlled by a sophisticated computer system that adds
torque to your pedaling. The electric drive system includes regenerative
"It has been very reliable in all weather conditions."
There are about 700 Twikes world wide, but just a few in the United States.
They doubled the battery pack for the long runs required by the Tour de Sol.
The other two members of the team are Martin Moeschaid and Bernd Werner. They
are Twike contractors in Germany. "We have assembled 130 for German customers
since 1995." They are also Twike owners.
Twike FAQ, Switzerland trip
Vehicle Name Twike
Vehicle Number demo
Category DEMONSTRATION VEHICLES (non-competitive)
vehicle type category demonstration/exhibit only
Team Name Twike Pioneers
Organization TWIKE Club of America
City S. Burlington
new this year? new team
Vehicle Manufacturer Twike AC, CH
Vehicle Model Year 1999
Vehicle Reg Motor Cycle
Vehicle Type Class Light Duty (car, truck, van)
Vehicle Type Division Production
Vehicle Type Model Twike 99
motor kW continuous 3 kW
motor kW peak 5 kW
motor manufacturer Landert AG Nominal 3 kw
motor type Brushless DC
Energy Storage Manufacturer Twike AG Sanyo
Energy Storage System NiCad
Battery Twike AG Sanyo/NiCad
Battery 1400 cells/ series/ $7140
Battery 5040 Whrs/ 336 V/ 295 lbs
battery voltage 336 V
battery blocks 1400 cells
battery watt hrs 5040 Whrs
battery weight 295 lbs
battery cost $7140
control system manufacturer TB Woods
control system type B-trac WSC 1000
charger capacity 3.5 kW
charger current 16 A
charger input voltage 230 V
charger manufacturer TB Woods
charger on board? On board
charger type High freq/ss
Plug Type 6-20P
body material Plastic body
frame material Aluminum frame
Length both L: 8 ft/ 10 in
Width both W: 3 ft/ 11 in
Height both H: 3 ft/ 11 in
# seats 2
lbs of persons 165
lbs of cargo 20
brake front type Front Disc
brake rear type Rear Drum
No of Passengers 2
number of tires 3
tire model P2.25/2.5 R16
tire type Radial
Range miles 65 miles
Program blurb The Twike (Twin Bike) is a unique 3 wheeled, 2
passenger, Swiss-made human/electric powered
ultralight vehicle. The optional pedaling
provides excellent exercise while extending the
Twike's range. The Twike Pioneer team includes
the Vermont owners of Twike #507 and two Twike
enthusiasts from Germany.
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