Wello Family to be the solution to a lot of problems encountered on the regular in crowded urban environments, from the lack of parking spaces, congestion, and pollution. It comes with a small carbon footprint but it’s also more efficient than a regular bike, both in terms of speed and volume.
“In the era of the smart city, sustainable mobility is one of the major challenges facing the contemporary city,” the company says. “Imagine being able to move around in an urban environment, combining speed, security, comfort, carrying capacity and respect for the environment.”
Wello Family is nearly perfect in every way, except for the price. Showcased at CES 2020, it comes with dual propulsion: pedal and electric motor. The motor is powered by the sun through solar powers placed on the roof and kicks in whenever you’re no longer in the mood for pedaling or might want to move at a faster pace.
Indeed, this trike has a roof. It also has a windshield, which means it can offer protection against the elements – not as good as a regular car but definitely better than standard bikes that leave you fully exposed to Mother Nature and her fury. Being a tricycle, it also offers more stability than regular bikes, which makes it ideal for families with children.
Wello Family is spacious and comfortable. It seats a driver (operator?) and another adult passenger or two kids in the back. If that seat is unoccupied, the space can be used to transport cargo because the design is modular. The trike was designed with families, commuters and delivery services in mind.
Measuring 7.4 feet in length and 2.7 feet in width, Wello Family can fit into the space between 2 parked cars. Despite its diminutive size, it can fit as much as 28 cubic feet or 176 pounds of cargo. Talk about strong essences being kept in small bottles and all that.
On the safety side, it is fitted with backlights, mirrors and a robust outer shell, which offers extra protection to the occupants – again, compared to riding on a traditional bicycle. The front end has suspension and leans into turns, making the trike more stable on turns at higher speeds.
In keeping with the latest in tech, Wello Family is also connected. It pairs by Bluetooth with an app that delivers to the driver real-time information on traffic and other useful information. The makers hope that, by making the trike efficient and smart, they will be able to encourage car owners to leave their vehicles in the driveway and give this tiny EV a go.
With a top speed of 15 to 25 mph (depending on local regulations) and a range of 62 miles a day, Wello Family sure seems like an ideal candidate for a viable urban mobility solution. Being pedal-powered means you don’t require a driver’s license to operate it, pay parking, insurance or assorted taxes and fees. It also means you can drive it on bicycle paths, further helping to alleviate congestion in big cities and ultimately adding to its overall efficiency.
The French startup is also offering an array of configurations, depending on what they will be used for. And this is where the story of this perfect little EV goes downhill: the family version sells for €7,900, which is roughly $8,800 at the current rate exchange.
For this kind of money, you’re buying peace of mind knowing you’re not contributing to an already major problem: pollution (and all its related evils). You’re buying efficiency and minimum comfort, and also the promise of lower costs in the long run. At the end of the day, though, for this kind of money, you’re also buying a little EV that can’t make up its mind on whether it wants to be a bicycle or a small car. Cute, but cost-restrictive nonetheless.