Rishock, a pedal assist electric quadricycle

Commuter, Concept, Electric bike 13 417

Rishock electric quadricycleI briefly mentioned the Rishock electric Quadricycle in a post last year, but I think the concept is overdue for a post of its own. Rishock was designed by Max Zoggia of Supermaxistudio in collaboration with Ali Kerkeni, and engineers Stefano Dolcetti and Sergio Rizzo. The recumbent pedal assist electric vehicles can accommodate two riders and are available in three different models (one of which has 2 additional seats for child passengers).

See the website for more information and many additional pictures. Also, be sure to check out this video of a Rishock in action on the streets of Turin, Italy. I would love to try one of these for myself, but I am not sure how well it would be received on the roads here in the United States. I’m curious to hear from any of you who have ridden a two abreast quadricycle, or even just a wide velomobile, in the U.S.  How do drivers react, and do they treat you differently than if you are on a standard bicycle? With higher gas prices, I have noticed more and more street legal golf carts on the road lately, and from the standpoint of speed and size, those aren’t all THAT different from something like the Rishock or an electric Rhoades Car.  Do you think we will ever see the day when pedal powered car alternatives will gain mass acceptance in the U.S? I have my thoughts, but I would love to hear discussion on the topic from all of you.


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13 Comments

  1. Androo August 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

    The main issue I have with both quadracycles and velomobiles is price. The ‘Race’ model fulfills much the same roll as a bike, but costs $3500 ($4300) , while the first one that offers all-weather capabilities is 5200 euro ($6400). The electric assist with 40 km of autonomy is 6500 euro ($8000), at which point the vast majority of people would simply opt for a used car and put the rest towards gas, insurance, and maintenance.

    Until these kinds of vehicles attain some measure of adoption and subsequent economies and you can get the cost down to $1000 (i.e. twice what you’d pay for a reasonable bike at an LBS), they don’t stand much point of making a dent in consumption habits.

  2. John Price August 11, 2012 at 9:09 am -  Reply

    I agree with Androo.. Until they can get the price down to about $1,000, I just can’t see these being that useful.

  3. fede August 11, 2012 at 10:21 am -  Reply

    Cycling is better than going to gasoline!

  4. Mac August 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm -  Reply

    Their site is pretty bad, no info on speed, construction, weight, … How is this cornering given that the wheels don’t lean? It needs to be going very slow. Existing youtube videos show it going very slow indeed.

  5. Rishock August 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm -  Reply

    I’m sorry that the informations are not enough.
    Maybe you do not see those about the weight.
    the chassis and the components are all made of aluminum.
    the engine shuts off as European standards at 25 km / h.
    version without the weight of the electric motor is 30 kg.
    if you have the electric motor the weight becomes less important..
    Anyway, batteries’ weigth is 6 kg and they are lipofe.
    the motors are brushless and they weight other 6 kg.

    if you need other information please let me know.

    max

    • Lucas Maxwell July 26, 2014 at 2:53 am -  Reply

      I asked this question via the contact page on your site ‘3’ times and got no reply at all.

      If I buy this vehicle to ride in London UK, what EU regs cover me for it’s use? Have you sold others in the UK already? What is the customer experience when meeting the police etc?

  6. Andrew Boone August 13, 2012 at 1:52 am -  Reply

    I’m curious about the legality of such vehicles on U.S. streets. Could I ride one around where I live and not get pulled over and fined by the police? There are many streets where I’d have to ride it in the center of the vehicle lane to be safe, just as a bicyclist would. But since it looks so unusual and travels so much slower than motor vehicles on certain streets, I bet eventually I’d get harassed by local law enforcement. Such vehicles are so poorly defined by state vehicle codes that the laws that apply to them are unclear.

    According to the California Vehicle Code, for example, this is a “Motorized Quadricycle”, which can only be operated by disable persons or senior citizens (age 62+). But if it’s designed to carry for than two people, or can travel over 30 mph on level ground, then it’s not a Motorized Quadricycle. If it’s top speed is between 20 mph and 25 mph, then it would be a “Low Speed Vehicle”, which cannot be operated on streets with a speed limit of over 35 mph, and can be banned by local authorities (cities or counties). And it’s clearly not a “Bicycle” because a bicycle if defined as “a device upon which any person may ride… having one or more wheels… propelled exclusively by human power” (CVC 231).

    So if you’re operating a vehicle which is not defined at all by your state’s vehicle code, does that mean no traffic laws apply to you at all, and therefore, you can ride it wherever you want? Certainly the local police wouldn’t interpret it this way. Oh, what to do!

    • Andrew Boone August 13, 2012 at 1:54 am -  Reply

      I meant to write “carry MORE than two people” not “carry FOR than two people” in the second paragraph.

  7. fede August 14, 2012 at 5:21 am -  Reply

    check local laws always!

    florida sample:

    Legal status of bicycles
    (Sections 316.003(2), (10) and 316.2065(1), F.S.)

    A bicycle is classified as a vehicle. A person in control of a vehicle on a street or highway is a driver. As a driver, a cyclist must follow the traffic rules common to all drivers. As the driver of a bicycle, he must also obey regulations adopted specially for bicycles. A person riding a bicycle has all the rights applicable to any driver, except as to special regulations for bicycles.

    Definition of “Bicycle”
    (Section 316.003(2), F.S.)

    Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or a similar device. No person under the age of 16 may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

    • Owen August 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm -  Reply

      I know that is true in Calif. as far as registering as a motor vehicle. One question is trails that are being built that allow pedal power but not with assist motors. Motorized wheelchairs are an unaddreaased question, and one problem locally is that people with horses are being banned as are horse-drawn vehicles. Now that the Federal courts have ruled converting railroad rights of way into trails as unconstitutional, some trails will be shutting down. The means the best solution is to require highway construction to include facilities for alternative vehicles of sufficient size to accomodate the full range of human and animal powered vehicles including those with assist motors. I think the best solution is to use railroad rights of way after restoring them for rail traffic, and including lanes for strictly human powered, animal powered and vehicles with assist motors. Three lanes and a lot of education, and strictly enforced speed limits of 20 m.p.h. for all, or less.

  8. Terry Bruce August 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm -  Reply

    I love the ideas of a hybrid vehicle (somewhere between Bicycle and Car or between Bicycle and Motorcycle.) I would love to see things like this catch on. I do see two items that may keep them from becoming popular.

    1st is that here in the US our self image is Too closely tied to materials (such as our cars) and as such to many excuses have been designed so that bicycling is not an option

    2nd is that from the money side I would bet that these vehicles would end up being to expensive to be placed in between a good bike and an inexpensive automobile. Lets face it if it is easier and cheaper to get a used cheap car then you probably wont end up getting a hybrid vehicle like this.

  9. Aaron Rosenzweig August 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm -  Reply

    This is quite timely as we brought the first container of 12 Quattrocycles from Holland to Maryland just weeks ago. 6 are already sold. One is already in the wild. The idea of a “family cycle” is catching on. Brings new meaning to “No child left behind.” Not only can everyone pedal but also switch their own independent set of gears. Full suspension and flex frame. Full set of accessories such as electric assist, canopy, and third row bench seat making seating for 7 just like a mini-van. The time has come. Fun, health, and the environment. It’s the perfect short distance vehicle.

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