Image: Hopper Mobility GmbH

The Hopper 3-Wheeled Electric Microcar Is Technically An E-Bike

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When is a microcar not a microcar? When it’s technically classified as an e-bike electric tricycle, I suppose.

The push toward more electric micromobility has seen some interesting ideas in recent years, from tiny EVs to large e-cargo bikes and everything in between, and the 3-wheeled Hopper fits right into that trend. It looks kinda like a microcar from the outside, but the Hopper is actually pedal-powered and features an electric assist drivetrain to boost the driver’s efforts.

Image: Hopper Mobility GmbH

The Hopper, from Germany’s Hopper Mobility GmbH, can be configured as a passenger model with two seats and a 140-liter trunk, or a cargo model with one seat and a 300-liter trunk. It incorporates a 250W electric motor and a removable 48V 1440Wh LiFePO4 battery for a range of up to 65 km (40.3 miles) per charge, with a top assisted speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph), which means it fits into the pedelec category instead of a low-speed electric vehicle, so no license, registration, or insurance are required to drive it.

With a turning radius of less than two meters thanks to its rear-wheel steering, the Hopper looks well suited to dense urban areas, as it can also fit into very small parking space. It also keeps the driver somewhat out of the weather with its covered cab and large windshield, although the sides of the Hopper do not have doors and are open to the elements, so it’s not completely enclosed.

Image: Hopper Mobility GmbH

Because the Hopper has specs similar to a traditional e-bike or e-cargo bike, it’s not likely to be a total car replacement due to its slow speeds and short-ish range when compared to full-sized EVs, unless the buyer already lives and works in a walkable/bikeable area and doesn’t mind borrowing or renting a car for long trips. However, as a zero emission urban mobility option, the Hopper may be a decent choice for early adopters, assuming that the buyers aren’t on a very strict budget, because the first edition model starts at €13,500 ($14,587) plus delivery fees.

As a fleet vehicle, though, the Hopper might be a good fit into the operations of certain commercial enterprises, where the cost is just part of doing business and the alternatives are likely to have much higher total costs of ownership than this little vehicle.

Image: Hopper Mobility GmbH

The company website has the full scoop on the Hopper (in German, but Google Translate works well), and if you’re an impulse buyer and just have to have one, the Shopify page does have a PayPal “Buy Now” option for the First Edition Hopper. Caveat emptor and all that jazz…

All images courtesy of Hopper Mobility GmbH

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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

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