French boot Wello attracted some attention to CES 2020 With its three-wheeled electric bicycle with solar energy that aims to combine a bicycle and a car to address the problem of the last mile while respecting the environment.
In the French Technology In the pavilion, I met Wello’s founder and CEO, Arnaud Chéreau, who told me how his idea and 3000 euros for the first prototype (2015) brought him from a shipping container office in La Reunion, an island in the Indian Ocean (map link), to CES in Las Vegas four years later.
Wello Family, Smart E-Cargo Bike with solar panels – CES 2020
Why do people want it?
The level of public concern about air pollution and climate change has increased significantly in recent years. Fortunately, the dramatic price drop of 99% of photovoltaic solar technology in the last four decades (according to MIT) is beginning to allow the massive adoption of solar energy.
2020 is the year of the vehicle that runs on solar energy, and Wello, along with Toyota, is getting into the car of the pioneers. In addition, E-cargo bicycles are currently considered a leading solution for urban deliveries and adoption rates are growing considerably worldwide.
On paper, Wello offers the best of all worlds, so let’s see what’s under the hood.
How it works: pedals, solar panels, battery, geolocation, connectivity and more …
The vehicle with zero CO2 emissions (ZEV) works with human energy using standard pedals assisted by an electrical system equipped with high efficiency solar panels and a built-in battery. The charger included with Wello Family is like a computer charger and can be plugged into a standard outlet (120V in the US, 220V in Europe).
According to the company, it takes 3-5 hours to fully recharge the battery with the wall charger and a full day with the solar panels.
“THE WELLO FAMILY OFFERS UP TO 100 KM OF RANGE WITH A SINGLE LOAD WITH SOLAR PANELS”
Wello Family offers a range of 60 km with a single load and up to 100 km when the solar panels on the roof are mixed.
The speed varies from 15 to 25 mph (25 to 40 km / h), and to drive more than 15 mph, the driver needs the assistance of the electric motor. The maximum speed complies with bicycle lane regulations, so the vehicle does not require a driver’s license or insurance.
The payload capacity allows an adult driver and an adult passenger or two children to be transported, and the rear seat is transformed into a convenient storage container.
The outer deck protects passengers from weather conditions, but the 2.78 feet wide and 7.4 feet vehicle is still compact enough to park between two cars in urban areas (see photo). One of the key differentiators is the patented tilt steering mechanism that allows the Wello family to bend in the curves while maintaining stability.
Most pedal-operated closed tricycle designs do not tilt when turning. The narrow profile also helps with aerodynamics for better energy efficiency.
Not only is the new electronic charging tricycle environmentally friendly, but it also provides some intelligence in the form of a digital board. The mobile complementary application gives users access to key information such as real-time geolocation, traffic updates, battery life, solar panel charging and speed.
The mobile application connects to Wello Family via Bluetooth and a fleet manager can track multiple vehicles from a web interface on a computer.
At CES, I took a very short tour as a passenger and took some pictures of the low-power dashboard mounted on the handlebar that provides information such as speed, battery usage, mileage and temperature.
Family is the third covered e-solar tricycle designed by Wello and is now available for pre-order for 7,900 Euros / $ 8010 (equivalent in USD as of today). The Cargo and the Pickup, their two older brothers launched in 2019, are built in the same modular chassis and cost between 4,900 and 6,900 euros, depending on the versions.
Wello’s current commercial customers include the city of Saint-Denis in La Reunion and the French Postal Service, also known as La Poste (photo).
Arnaud Chéreau’s vision goes beyond the last mile, he wants to address the problem of the reach of ten miles in a sustainable way, specifically in rural areas where bicycles are not suitable, and cars are becoming too expensive due to high gas prices
Featured Technical Specifications
- Autonomy: 60 km / day and up to 100 km / day with solar panels
- Connectivity: Bluetooth / 4G mobile application
- Payload capacity: 1 adult passenger or 2 children
- Vehicle Weight: 75 to 85 kg (modular load capacity up to 800L)
- Vehicle Size: L 225 cm x W 85 cm x H 175 cm (L 7.4 feet x W 2.78 feet x H 5.74 feet)
Filed in. Read more about CES, CES 2020, electric bicycle, electric vehicle and solar energy.