The Der Ziesel looks like, as Uncrate put it, “the unlikely and bizarre offspring of an M1 Abrams battle tank and a Hoveround mobility scooter.” It is a tracked, single-person vehicle which uses two PMS electric disk motors to pump out 21 horsepower and 30 pound-feet of torque – maximum speed 22 mph. At more conservative speeds, a single charge of its battery is good for up to five hours.
Who needs one of these? At first glance it looks like a stupid toy for rich people or an electric wheelchair on steroids. While I am sure that it would be great in both of these roles, the test shots over on the Der Ziesel site paint a broader picture. One video shows it towing a trailer while navigating a snow field, another shows it pulling a small plow in a vineyard – and then it starts to make a lot more sense. You can’t use snow mobiles in summer, and most hobby farmers don’t need (or have space for) a full-sized tractor.