The mystery EV that we used as a 2005 holiday greeting also peddles beer! Same type peddle and electric power 3 wheeler was seen promoting good ole German Pilsner Beer in a small community near Postdam Germany, 20 miles SE of Berlin. (Photos - Bruce Meland)

Hybrid Velotaxi
by
Roland Reichel

(Roland still uses one of these cute little CityEl single seater vehicles (pictured below) - beside his Citroen AX electrique "non-smoker" and his "vegetarian car".)

The Velotaxi started a few years ago in Berlin as bicycle taxi only, i.e. pedal driven, and in small numbers (production was initially only 80 or  so, as I had learned recently from the manufacturer of the plastic body - now it's more than 200 p.a.).

The lastest models are hybrid with battery-electric drive system (hub motor from Heinzmann) plus pedal driven (human-assisted).

My guess is that around 800 to 1000 are at present in use worldwide.

Yes, they are in use worldwide now, as can be seen from their web-site - http://www.velotaxi.de - The website is in German and in English.

The idea is the same as in traditional Asian (Indian) way of small rickshaw taxis: The owner lends them out on a day to day basis on a flat rate of 5 per day. The driver pays the 5 only. What he gets minus this 5 is his profit. In Asia, a rickshaw taxi provides income for 2  families. The velotaxis follows this pattern, but a great portion of income for the owner is through advertising.

There is no special beer promotion as such, it is just paid advertising. The main use is for passenger transport, mainly for tourist and sightseeing. Maybe some drivers use it differently.

Roland Reichel
Solar Mobility Association (Germany)
Reifenberg 85
91365 Weilersbach Germany
Tel. +49 9194 8985 Fax + 49 9194 4262
http://www.solarmobil.net
reichel@solarmobil.net

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