Vehicles that provide enough comfort to travel short distances which are not quite a motorcycle and not really car are a new form of transportation, called short-trip mobility. The three-wheeled electric Echo3 is fueling the clean green evolution of short-trip vehicles according to Echo Energy’s President, Rex Halbeisen.
“I can’t go to the market without people stopping me and asking me about the Echo3,” says Halbeisen about the Echo3 that seats one person in the front and two in the back. It is powered by batteries that can be charged by plugging into a typical home electrical outlet.
Since he’s been driving an Echo3 for the last three months in Denver, Colorado, he’s hardly ever driven his pickup truck except to go to the Home Depot to pick up lumber or supplies. He notes 80% of the time drivers make short trips. The Echo3 has one wheel in the front and two wheels in the back.
The Echo3 fills a void in the marketplace with an affordable price point, low-cost insurance and a low-operation cost, says Halbeisen. With a base price of price at $6,995.00, he compares the Echo 3 to an electric Vespa and the cost of rideshares. A Vespa Electric is more expensive and costs $7,560.00.
He calculates that a typical college student commute, an Echo3 with financing, license and insurance costs only $6.00 a day, which is less than rideshare costs. The average new automobile costs $6,000-$7,000 a year to own and operate.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a wake-up event for clean transportation.
Halbeisen has spent the last 33 years in technology and what he likes about the Echo3 is that it’s fun. Fun features include a sunroof and a sense of being close to the road. Echo3 vehicles are not allowed on the highway and have a maximum speed of 35 mph (56 km/h).
The company was founded in 2017 by Jeremy Buck and Klare Looney who searched the globe for a better mode of transportation than internal combustion-powered vehicles. They were in China when they saw the vehicles and realized that they needed to adapt them for the road in America. They changed the look and other design features. Echo3s are assembled in China made from parts from all over the world.
The 2020 model features windshield wipers, disc brakes, LED rear/signal lights, a backup camera, electric windows, electric key fob and Bluetooth stereo. Optional features include snow tires, lithium battery, heating/air conditioning and an extended warranty.
The market for Echo3 vehicles includes all types of scenarios such as public works, recreation, vacation rentals, RV owners, telecommuters and students.
Why Teens & College Students and Parents Like Echo3s
“My teenage kids drive Echo3s because I’m confident that they can’t text and drive,” says Halbeisen. The Echo3 requires two-hands to operate on the handles for brakes and throttle if hands are removed the vehicle won’t operate.
An added benefit for some college students is that they can be paid to drive their Echo3 such as one student in Cedar City Utah. He is paid $150 a month to drive the Echo3 with an advert wrap on it. He then receives a $250 commission for each of his six sales.
Why Echo3 Serves Public Service Law Enforcement Parks, Recreation, Vacationers and Telecommuters
Echo3 is good for police and parks departments. Police departments have shown a high-interest to use Echo 3’s in open spaces and parks.
“It’s only 48 inches wide (1.22 m) and therefore Echo3’s can go on the sidewalks in parks,” says Halbeisen. In mountain resort communities there is interest for resort rentals.
“RV owners can tow an Echo3 easily. There’s a special trailer with a tongue weight (total weight at the coupling point) of 63 lbs (28.5 kg) on the bumper, that is more economical than towing a full-size car.
During the pandemic stay-at-home and lockdowns, because many workers are working at home they realize that they don’t need a full-size vehicle to go where they want. As more workers telecommute, an Echo3 would be ideal for a couple that has a full-size car for long trips and use their Echo3 for trips around town.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has been a wake-up event for clean transportation,” says Halbeisen, “We think people will choose clean when given the choice.”