Can This Three-Wheeled “Moped” Help Break the Automotive Industrial Complex?

Just don’t judge a bike by its cover

October 3, 2016 9:00 am

It’s hard to believe, but in some far-flung corners of the earth, that funky looking silver go-kart that you see above is actually considered a moped.

Those corners of the earth have a name: Michigan.  

The Wolverine State legally defines a moped as a “motor vehicle with two or three wheels that does not have a gearshift and has a top speed of 30 MPH or less.” Therefore, the all-electric Orbit by The Future People technically fits the bill, despite having two front wheels and an enclosed body.

Built from a steel frame, bicycle parts, an e-bike kit and aluminum siding with pre-drilled holes, the Orbit was created as “a response to the grip of the auto industrial complex.”

It was never was intended to be a production model, which might seem like a good thing based on its looks. But given the vehicle’s specs — 250 pounds, 30 MPH top speed, 25-mile range, full charge in six hours — the Orbit actually sounds fairly handy.

Either way, the Orbit won’t hit the street anytime soon, but it will hit the Cooper Hewitt in NYC.

The video below explains more. It also features a woman dressed up as a chicken doing a funny little dance, which appears to be some sort of attempt at marketing. Detroit, are you listening? 

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