A new class of dockless electric vehicles is poised to hit city streets. In general, they can go faster and farther than existing bikes, e-bikes and scooters.
First, dockless vehicle-sharing company Gotcha is debuting an electric three-wheeled vehicle that can reach a top speed of 25 miles per hour, reports Electrek.
Gotcha already operates bike, scooter, and electric shared ride-hail vehicles in 20 states in the U.S., mainly on college campuses, The Verge reports. It’s launching the electric trikes at South By Southwest in Austin, Tex., next week, after the culmination of a publicity ride by Gotcha CEO and founder Sean Flood, who’s riding a Gotcha from Tallahassee, Florida, to Austin.
Electrek says that the Gotcha Trikes appear to be a rebranded Doohan iTango. Doohan says it’s an offshoot of a motorcycle company and is now the leading manufacturer of “dual-front-wheel smart vehicles” in China. The trikes can travel up to 40 miles on a single charge, and Gotcha public relations director Caroline Passe told the Charleston Post-Courier it’s easier to operate than a motorcycle or moped.
The top speed of the trikes doesn’t yet appear to be raising concerns, but it likely will when the trikes roll out: at 25 mph, that’s significantly faster than the top speeds of most two-wheeled dockless scooters like Lime and Bird. According to Digital Trends, local regulations will determine whether a motorcycle license is needed to ride the trikes.
It’s unclear which cities Gotcha operates in will get the trikes first. The company is based in Charleston, South Carolina, but it only operates a bike-share system in its hometown. Flood has told the Post and Courier he prefers waiting for approval from municipalities before launching, which could explain why Gotcha’s scooters and electric ride-hail vehicles don’t operate in that city. Flood hasn’t said whether he’ll introduce the trikes in Charleston or elsewhere.
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