Electronic Tricycle makes debut in Sonoma near the Plaza

eTrikes made their official debut near the Plaza in Sonoma on Sept. 8. photo by Jonathan Farrell

El Paseo Courtyard in the Sonoma Plaza welcomed a new tenant this past Sept. 8, when eTrikeCo opened for business. With its old California mystique, amid quaint streets and cul-de-sacs, an electronic-battery-powered tricycle showroom fits right in.

Maria Nguyen, Director of Operations is pleased that the ribbon cutting ceremony held that Sunday was well-attended for its grand opening. “eTrikes are eco-friendly and are subject to the same laws and regulations as bicycles. No license, insurance, or registration are required to operate them,” she said.

This is good news, especially for the baby-boomer generation which is now in its senior years. According to the US Census Bureau, more than 40 percent of the population is 65 or older and have difficulty getting around. Use of an electronic vehicle like this etrike would help tremendously.

Even with its upscale status as a premiere, world-famous wine growing region, Sonoma is a magnet for seniors. Its mild weather, small town charm and slower pace of life all appeal to seniors, especially those of the baby-boomer era that reflects sentiments of a simpler time and place.

For leisurely outings around the plaza, a quick trip to the market within a 30 mile radius or just to get out into the fresh air, a little vehicle like the eTrike definitely enhances one’s life in significant ways. And, for people who struggle to get around or must rely on someone to drive them, this vehicle could not only be a game-changer so to speak, but a lifesaver. As reported in the Sonoma Index-Tribune, electric tricycles are exceptionally easy to operate and ride. This is partly due to a low and completely balanced foot platform.

“Our mission is to provide people of all demographics with an affordable, eco-friendly, and accessible alternative mode of transportation,” said Nguyen. And, in a town where public transit is limited, something like eTrikeCo is a perfect solution.

Part of what makes eTrikes different and more user-friendly than power chairs or scooters is its design. It is simple, stylish with ample storage space, yet narrow enough to ride on sidewalks where permitted.

Sonoma entrepreneur Howard Sapper who brought the unique eTrike to town, makes the ride from the Plaza near the heart of town to the Sonoma Mission Inn on the other side of town; “in six minutes as opposed to 25 minutes,” he told the Sonoma Index-Tribune.

It is also sturdy and formidable enough to go onto streets at a maximum speed of 18 mph. And, don’t underestimate eTrike’s leisurely pace. “I can make it from the Plaza to the Sonoma Mission Inn in six minutes as opposed to 25 minutes,” said eTrike’s entrepreneur-venture capital investor for Sonoma, Howard Sapper to the Index-Tribune.

It charges on a standard 110v wall outlet. There are no harmful carbon emissions and motors are quiet with minimal maintenance. Prices start at $2495 and financing is available, making them relatively inexpensive to own.

eTrikeCo also offers rentals and tours. For more information, visit the eTrikeCo web site.