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Williams Taps Trikke Tech as 35th Assembly District’s Small Business of Year

Santa Barbara County company will be honored for its contributions to clean mobility and fitness

Assemblyman Das Williams has announced his selection of Trikke Tech Inc. as the 2011 Small Business of the Year in District 35, which includes most of Santa Barbara County and part of Ventura County.

Gildo Beleski, Trikke Tech’s chairman and chief technology officer, and CEO John Simpson will attend a ceremony in Sacramento in early June to accept the honors and to show California lawmakers the unique electric- and human-powered three-wheeled vehicles that inspired the honors.

Trikke Tech has introduced its innovative, user-friendly and affordable Trikke electric vehicles at a time when there is mounting pressure to find cleaner, more sustainable ways to get around. Trikke Tech has sold more than 500,000 of its body-propelled vehicles and a few thousand of its new electric vehicles, many of them in California where the vehicles were first adopted.

In the Assembly, Williams is focused on reforming the state budget process, ensuring that California children have access to a world-class education, fixing the state’s health-care system and protecting the environment, primarily through reducing the state’s reliance on oil and coal.

“We all need to work towards contributing to a greener future, and it’s innovative companies like Trikke Tech that are helping to make a real difference,” Williams said. “I have been personally riding one of their electric vehicles for some time now, and it has radically reduced my automotive use. Many people can benefit from adopting similar habits and help to reduce oil consumption and emissions at the same time. I can see Trikke Tech becoming a major employer in our district in the near future. It comes down to our local small-business successes like Trikke Tech that will help drive our economy and improve our quality of life.”

This April, Simpson was one of four panelists on the Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum focused on “Greening Your Ride.” Trikke Tech’s vehicles are a first mile and last mile commuter solution that can be deployed with relatively little investment and utilizing current transportation infrastructure.

Trikke’s electric product can be quickly folded down and taken onto trains and buses or loaded into the back of an automobile, encouraging less congestion and pollution in our cities. The municipalities of Long Beach, Sacramento and San Francisco are all in testing phases with the lightweight, agile three-wheelers, and the reports are positive. The uses being considered range from deploying the units for tours and rentals and inner-city business deliveries to supporting police and staff mobility around airports and large facilities such as ports.

In Santa Barbara County, the unit is being used for water meter reading — removing the need for larger vehicle usage, saving municipal dollars and reducing emissions. Trikke is weighing its options on where best to expand its operations, with plans to set up a California manufacturing and research-and-development facility.

“The amount of funds pouring in to support electric car production and charging infrastructure in California is historic,” Simpson said. “Our timing couldn’t be better to contribute an affordable and portable electric vehicle that can greatly reduce both our emissions and inner-city congestion — something electric cars cannot do. Plus, the Trikke vehicles cost so much less than electric cars — a much more democratic offering.

“Unlike two-wheeled vehicles, our three-wheelers are incredibly stable and more user-friendly. College kids and grannies are riding our electrics with ease, and they are both having fun. We’re currently looking for the kind of support we need from the political, banking and investor communities to begin rolling out big in California. We are incredibly thankful to Mr. Williams for this recognition. It came as huge surprise.”

Addressing other issues, Trikke sees its body-propelled line of vehicles helping with the epidemic of obesity. Its three-wheelers provide a fun and exhilarating option for weight loss and full-body fitness in a low-impact way. They have been making a difference in everything from school P.E. programs to the lives of seniors. Even former President Jimmy Carter is a fan. At age 86, he recently demonstrated his Trikke riding skills on an episode of 60 Minutes.

— John Simpson is CEO of Trikke Tech Inc.

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