Dubai: Simon Boaler doesn't drive to work everyday. Nor does he take a cab. Instead he hops on his Trikke, a three-wheel bike-looking machine, and rides it to the nearest Metro station, making his way to work.
A gasoline-free and carbon emissions-free ride, the new ecologically sound means of transportation is slowly rolling into the UAE market.
Since its introduction in September 2009, more than 340 Trikkes have been sold in the UAE. "The ball just started rolling," Boaler, Managing Director of Sustainable Technologies — Division of Bond Group, told Gulf News.
Developed by a Brazilian aeronautical engineer who wanted to combine his two favourite sports, skiing and cycling, the Trikke was originally a human powered product, Boaler said.
Later, an electrical version of it was introduced. Today it is powered by a 250-watt motor and a 36-hour full recyclable battery. "If you use the product every single day and recharge the battery every single day you can recycle that battery — recharging it over 1,500 times," he said.
The motor Trikke currently sells for Dh8,900. It has two speed settings: one that can go up to 20 km/h and another that can go up to 30 km/h.
Boaler said the Trikke is for people of all ages. "You don't have to balance yourself because you always have the three points of contact on the ground and whether you're wearing an abaya or a kandoura, anybody can ride it." That is because the Trikke is driven standing up as opposed to a bike.
Weighing only 18 kg, the Trikke is foldable, enabling riders to carry it around when necessary.
"You can carry it. You can keep it in your office or put it in your car. You can even wheel it onto the train," he said. Gated communities are some of the targeted consumers for the Trikke. "In these clusters, you have families, so you don't necessarily want a lot of vehicles. The more cars you take off the road, the better," he said. "So if you forget to grab the milk, you don't have to start your car again, you can just hop on your Trikke."
"What we quickly discovered was that this can work well for businesses as well. Since then we have supplied warehouses, police units, airports and the RTA parking."
Sustainable Technologies is now developing a golf version of the Trikke to be used on golf courses. "It will have fatter tyres, two motors in the rear wheels instead of one motor in the front wheel and it will be able to carry a lot more weight," he said.
Boaler said that apart from being ecologically sound, it is the best way to make friends. "Wherever I ride it, people wave me down. I've made lots of friends riding it."