The Odyssey Electric Trike - A Moonshot Project
Tom Spendlove posted on March 18, 2014 |
Wisconsin engineers developed a recumbent electric tricycle as the next big thing in transportation.

Dustin Herte and Ryan Bass have designed and developed a progressive new electric vehicle. The Odyssey Trike wants to be the next phase of vehicle evolution, existing between a recumbent tricycle, a motorcycle and a go kart.

The Odyssey Mk 5 runs at a top speed of 50 miles per hour, and has a range of 50 miles or 80 miles if the operator pedals while riding. The Lithium iron phosphate is projected to run for 2,000 cycles, the equivalent of 100,000 miles.

Herte and Bass are in the last week of a Kickstarter campaign. In a twist I've never seen before the main Kickstarter video is a news story posted from their local station. The news blurb serves to introduce the Kickstarter public to the Odyssey with high level production values.

After seeing a power assist on a BMX bike, Dustin found inspiration thinking about the utility that a third wheel could add to the system. The Odyssey was first concepted and built in an airplane hangar in Wisconsin while Dustin and Ryan were still in high school. The Kickstarter page has a great discussion of the evolution of the trike through five iterations of prototype builds.

Benefits to Odyssey ownership are outlined on the Impact page of the company website. The site estimates that driving twenty miles a day five days a week instead of driving a 30 mile per gallon fuel efficient car would save 170 gallons of fuel per year. This is a great way for low mile travelers to make a modest local impact on the environment. Taking a side vehicle to the bicycle shop for repair instead of a car dealership also sounds like a cheap way to keep a well maintained vehicle.

This isn't the first electric recumbent trike, but it's great to see two young entrepreneurs use their engineering mindset to develop, manufacture and sell a product. The Kickstarter campaign needs a boost to reach its funding goal by the end of the week and I would be thrilled to see this funding realized.

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