Source: press release AKO | From ‘just another start-up that is trying’ to ‘the team that made it happen’ – AKO Team is launching their trike’s reservations campaign. The public can now reserve one of these final development stages reaching electric three-wheelers and support AKO Trike in the last sprint to the finish line.
It all started in 2007 from a mere idea to do it better. Over 13 years of AKO Trike’s venture, each development resulted in another, better version of the trike. In 2016 Artūras Mikalauskas and a design student Lukas Avenas created the first design. Inspired by nature and defined by bold engineering solutions, it was an essential part of shaping the concept further. Which the team did, and in 2018 – built the first concept-proof prototype ZERO.
After graduating from Latvian-organised Build It Hardware Accelerator in 2019, the building of the second prototype – the MVP – didn’t take long. The new prototype was custom machined, had refined aluminium parts, and an electric power-train with 3D printed exterior, yet no doors for the ease of rapid test-drives.
2020 has been the year of improvements and final touches that were necessary for AKO Team to get to the next stage. After polishing its shapes, perfecting the riding experience and many test drives later – trike is finally becoming available to the public, as AKO launches its reservations campaign.
To everyone new to this concept, the trike is an ‘electric leaning inverse three-wheeler’. As Mikalauskas explained, ‘the concept of this trike was to make riding experience as natural as possible, while at the same time extraordinary‘. So, what is extraordinary about it? If you prefer the numbers, it’s target range is 300km, powered by a 24kWh battery pack and the peak power output of up to 200kW. But all the power isn’t what makes it interesting – it’s how it drives. According to Mikalauskas, it’s almost ‘like manoeuvring a small airplane’. Its main feature is that it leans like a regular motorcycle banking through a curve. With airbags installed, four-point seat belts and room for luggage – the trike also offers the comforts of a car. With the excitement of a motorbike and safety of a car, the trike appeals to the various public ranging from a family man to an adrenaline junkie.
Besides having the best of both the features of a motorbike and of a car, the trike also rides at a low environmental expense. As Jurgis, the CEO, said: “Sustainability is not about being electric anymore”. Being electric-powered is not the only feature that makes trike friendly to the environment. It’s the combination of its lean size, seats to weight ratio and the manoeuvrability in traffic, which makes the trike a much more sustainable substitute for a regular car. The all-rounded customer appeal, futuristic shape and innovative engineering approach put the trike under the auto industry radar for 2021.
By reserving a trike, you place a €100 refundable deposit for your future trike. It gives AKO Team the necessary injection to speed up the development of the pre-series prototype. It also will help to see the traction of potential customers which will result in more precise estimations when building a strong case for attracting external funding and partnerships in the future. The number of reservations is limited.
With this crowd-funding campaign kicking off, AKO Team shows that they mean business. The question here isn’t if they’ll be able to do it. It’s when will you see the first trike overtaking you in the traffic. Or will you be the one crazy enough to do it?
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