Thursday, January 19, 2012

To 10 electric 3 wheelers

Electric vehicles (EVs) are proving to be a green alternative to conventional gasoline fueled vehicles in several ways, most importantly there are no tailpipe emissions. Drawing the required power from a rechargeable battery, the electric engines are controlled by regulators that govern the flow of energy through the system and the pressure exerted by the driver on the vehicle’s accelerator. Though EVs have a high recharge frequency, emerging technology is expected to increase the storage power of batteries and reduce the associated costs. In a novel attempt to reduce cost and minimize accident risks, EVs are being designed with just three wheels and they still retain the balance and comfort features of a four-wheeler, with limited speed ranges however. A three-wheeler EV can legally be licensed as a motorcycle. Here are some ingenious electric three-wheelers to look out for.
1. Aptara 2e
This stunning design cross between an ultra-light one-seater plane and a motorcycle is available in the market for $27,000. Earlier known as Type-!, this vehicle has already been awarded for its funky design and has been a competitor in the Automotive X Prize contest.
2. Myers NmG
Myers NmG is a single-seater from Myers Motors in Tallmadge, Ohio. With two front wheels and a one rear wheel, the vehicle is powered by a fleet of thirteen lead-acid batteries of 12-volt capacity each. The vehicle is capable of traveling about 30 miles, when the batteries have been charged for at least 6-8 hours. A 110-volt power outlet can be used to re-charge the batteries when required. Myers NmG is priced at $36,000.
3. Venture One
A product from Venture Vehicles, Los Angeles, this two-seater vehicle is again a cross functional design comprising features of a car and a motorcycle. Driven by two 20 kW electric motors built into the wheel, the unit is powered by a 17 kWh lithium ion battery. When fully charged, Venture One can deliver about 120 miles and comes at a price of $20,000. It is available in both fully-electric and plug-in hybrid models.
Not an EV masterpiece by any chance, but this affordable unit with a seating capacity of four is available for just $12,000, probably least expensive among functional fully-electric three-wheelers. This Chinese-built sedan look-alike is the best way to experience zero-emission EV travel.
5. SV1
This sleek shiny three-wheeler is a conceptual model, designed to comfortably carry two people. The EV is intended to be steered using the two front wheels, while driven by a single rear motor.
6. Peugeot +
Imagine a scooter with two front wheels, just to bring some extra stability, two seats ordered one behind the other in an enclosed cabin like that of a car and you have the Peugeot+. This EV has been designed to run by a small electric motor and produce little or no carbon emissions.
7. Moby
The Moby is a concept vehicle of next generation EV trikes that can be remodeled to accommodate new designs to keep pace with evolving technology. The rear portion of the EV can be re-designed to accommodate a new seat or storage space or an efficient battery, without compromising on functionality. Designed by WooJin Chung, this EV, occupying just 50 percent space as compared to a conventional vehicle, might as well be the future of zero-emission technology.
8. E.Rex
Offering a maximum speed of 144 mph and a 100-mile range, the E.Rex from OptaMotive in Silicon Valley is powered by a water-cooled magnet that produces a continuous power output of 45KW. This EV houses a lithium-iron phosphate battery having 96 cells, fully chargeable in 2.5 hours from a 220V and 20 amps power source. The magnet is capable of generating 125KW of power at maximum. The EV quickly gains speed, moving from 0-60mph under 5 seconds.
9. Sapdesign Neo
Another zero-emission EV, designed for navigating cramped city spaces, Sapdesign Neo features a driver’s cabin insulated by smart-rubber. The interior is air-conditioned, power generating units buffered from other spaces and the EV sports external LED lighting for safe night driving. Designed by Maurício Sampaio from Brazil, Sapdesign Neo is driven by three engines, one on each wheel.
10. Manta
This next-gen amphibious electric three-wheeler comes from Belgium's David Cardoso Loureiro. A single seater, this EV is powered by its two rear wheels on both road and water and is driven by twin electric motors on the wheels. The rear wheels of the Manta double up as actual blades, rolling up by 90 degrees, when the craft is in the water. This model has been chosen by Michelin Challenge Design to be featured at the recent North American International Auto Show.

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