IMAGE: ELECTRIC TWIKE VEHICLE
Donna Mcwilliam  /  AP
A "His & Hers" Twike commuter vehicle is previewed at a Dallas event Tuesday to unveil Neiman Marcus' 2006 Christmas Book.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 10/5/2006 8:41:37 AM ET 2006-10-05T12:41:37

The annual Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog, which promises to please even those who have everything, this year is pitching an environmentally friendly commuting vehicle: the three-wheeled, electric-powered Twike.

Entries in the annual Christmas Book, which was released Tuesday, range from a $20 box of holiday cookies to a $3.8 million lifetime membership in a private club being built in Tuscany.

The Twike, listed at $40,000, runs on battery and pedal power. The German manufacturer, Fine Mobile GmbH, claims the Twike can hit 55 mph on flat ground.

Neiman Marcus picked the two-seater — puppy cute or mutt ugly, depending on your view — as its his-and-hers gift for the season.

"They called us out of the blue," said Mike Patterson, Fine Mobile's director of North American operations. "We're 'Popular Mechanics' kinds of guys. It never occurred to us that this would be fashionable."

In its press release, Neiman Marcus states that "our His & Hers Twike commuter vehicle is completely gasoline-, emission-, and guilt-free. This cozy two-seater features a zero-emission electric power system that can be supplemented with human pedal power, as desired."

The Dallas-based retailer accentuates the fact that "Swiss and German engineers have designed it with lightweight aluminum alloys and reinforced floors.

"Its state-of-the-art, six- kilowatt hour, nickel-alloy batteries can be fully charged from a regular household outlet," the retailer adds. "Powered by a three-kilowatt electric motor, it can achieve speeds of up to 55 miles per hour with a range of up to 90 miles per charge."

Fine Mobile sells a basic Twike for $26,000 and an upgraded model for around $40,000. Neiman Marcus says its "exclusive edition" has leather seats, velour carpeting and "a sporty British racing green exterior."

Neiman likes the attention it gets for the gifts — it will not disclose how much the Christmas Book generates in sales — and vendors love the exposure in a catalog that goes out to some of the wealthiest shoppers in America.

Cars are among the best sellers in each Neiman catalog. This year, the Dallas-based retailer is selling 50 2007 BMW M6 convertibles for 139,000 each. The cars go on sale Oct. 18, and judging from experience, will probably sell out in less than an hour.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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