One up and coming small electric vehicle technology promises to combine the best parts of a motorcycle and a bicycle, while adding a third wheel and electric drive.
The Odyssey Electric Trike project, from Dustin Herte and Ryan Bass, is the culmination of five years of work, which began with the first trike being built as a high school business project. The current iteration of the trike, the Mk. 5, is said to be have the speed and power of a motorcycle, due to its powerful 4kW electric motor, which puts out about 5.3 hp.
The Odyssey is powered by a bank of lithium iron phosphate batteries, which have a 1600 Wh capacity and a range of about 50 miles, although by pedaling as well will increase that range to about 80 miles. The battery pack bag can be removed from its rack for charging, and includes room for carrying other items. Saddle bags can be attached to the side of the battery rack for increased carrying capacity, and the trike can be parked at any standard bike rack.
“The Mk. 5 trike is legally a bicycle, but has the power and speed of a motorcycle. It has a 4kW electric motor capable of powering you through your commute and a removable high capacity battery pack that makes charging simple, yet versatile. It has options for on-vehicle storage capacity, options for lighting, options for gearing, and – we may not have mentioned it before- pedals!”
This electric trike could be the perfect eco-friendly commuter vehicle, as the power and range of the electric drive system can keep up with traffic (up to 50 mph) and extend the rider’s ability for longer commutes, and the recumbent position could be much more comfortable and stable for those who wouldn’t ordinarily ride a bike. According to the Odyssey Trikes website, riding one of their electric trikes could add up to quite a reduction in petroleum usage:
“If you drove a trike 20 miles a day, five days a week, instead of driving a car that has a fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon- you would be offsetting 3.3 gallons of fuel usage weekly, or about 170 gallons of fuel yearly- that is about four barrels of crude oil. It very quickly adds up to making a difference.”
Odyssey is using a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to put this electric trike into production, and backers at the $5600 USD level will be the first to get their hands on one.
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