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Want to Ride a Pedal-Powered Electric Vehicle for a Few Bucks? Go To Rome!

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If you ever get to visit Rome and want to experience human/electric hybrids in action, you should definitely visit the Villa Borghese park. There you can rent electric four-wheelers in groups of two, three, or four.

I visited Rome last week and went to Villa Borghese just to find that I could too rent one of those pedal-powered vehicles for 10 euros an hour. You can’t imagine the excitement and thrill I had – I write about this kind of stuff every day but never got the chance to actually ride something truly electric.

The quad-cycles feature two in-wheel electric motors and a 12-volt car battery that you charge with the power of your feet. The vehicles seem to be hand-made, so don’t expect outrageous performance. Still, when you climb a hill it’s definitely worth having a battery and a motor behind – you really feel the help.

The only problem I could detect with those was that you had to spin the pedals a few times before the electric motor kicked in, so when I was caught in an uphill climb and stopped there, it was nearly impossible to get the thing moving again. Anyway, that’s the fun of it.

If you don’t like these, there’s a full option of golf carts and Segways at higher prices, but I guarantee the fun in these contraptions. One can say it’s even romantic.

Watch me struggling, happy as I was, driving the EV on the roman park’s wonderful alleys:

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi,

    I myself find these pedal power four wheelers in Rome -where I ´m writing you now- somehow old and slow. I prefer the golf carts.

    The future is more into electric cars. Last month the national power company and the municipality of rome have accorded to start a power grid structure of 150 points throughout the city for loading electric cars.

    Nevertheless found your post and video really charming and somehow also inspiring.
    You´re really a green optimist!

    best regards.

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