Pedal-electric, semi-enclosed bicycle/car hybrids are rapidly gaining popularity, and one of the newest contenders is the Hopper. This innovative vehicle, developed by Hamburg-based startup Hopper Mobility, has already garnered significant attention on the streets of Germany. Initially announced as a concept in 2020, the Hopper offers a blend of convenience and eco-friendliness, designed to navigate both bike lanes and roads.

The Hopper, reminiscent of the Veemo, is a three-wheeled vehicle featuring an open-sided body that provides substantial weather protection. It places the rider in a comfortable, car-like driving position. Legally classified as an e-bike, the Hopper benefits from being able to bypass traffic by using bike lanes and paths while also being road-legal.

Powering the Hopper is a 250-watt rear hub motor, which assists the rider’s pedaling to achieve a top speed of 25 km/h (16 mph). The motor draws energy from a removable 30-Ah/48V/1,440-Wh lithium-iron-phosphate battery, offering a range of approximately 65 km (40 miles) per charge. An optional rooftop solar panel is available to extend this range. To reduce maintenance and mechanical complexity, the Hopper employs an electronic pedal-by-wire system instead of a traditional chain drive.

This advanced system allows the rider’s pedaling to generate electrical energy through a generator, which then powers the motor. The motor converts this electrical energy back into mechanical energy to drive the wheels.

Hopper Mobility offers two variants of the vehicle: the Passenger model, which features a second seat behind the rider, and the Cargo model, which replaces the rear seat with a lockable 300-liter cargo compartment. Both versions can accommodate a maximum load of 160 kg (353 lb) and weigh around 120 kg (265 lb).

The Hopper is equipped with a range of features, including a full lighting system with two 550-lumen headlights, a steering-wheel-integrated touchscreen control center, a windshield defogger, a parking brake, a wheel-immobilizing security system, and two USB ports for charging mobile devices. Additionally, side covers are being developed to further enhance weather protection.

Thanks to funding from the European Union, approximately 30 Hoppers have been built and distributed to test users to gather real-world feedback. This feedback has been instrumental in refining the design of the First Edition commercial version, now available for preorder to German customers at a price of €13,500 (about US$14,677). Production of this initial line is expected to commence later this year, with plans to expand availability to other countries.

Hopper Mobility’s innovative vehicle represents a promising step forward in urban transportation, offering a sustainable and practical solution for everyday commuting.

By Impact Lab