An electric tricycle has all of the advantages of a two wheeled bike with the extra stability provided by a third wheel. Many electric trikes can be propelled with the motor or through pedal power or a combination of both. Unlike four wheeled electric golf carts many of electric trikes have virtually no restrictions in terms of where they can be ridden. Most of these trikes can travel at least 30 miles on a single charge. Many of them come with an abundance of bells and whistles including things like turn signals, speedometer and a suspension system. Some cruise at typical bicycle speeds while others are capable of driving at highway speeds. Despite their functionality they can be hard to find.
There are some wildly innovative trike designs but none is more innovative than Nils Ferber‘s EX vehicle which is propelled by screwdrivers. The ultra-light racing trike harnesses two 18-volt screwdrivers as engines, allowing it to accelerate up to 30 km/h. This trike it neither recumbent nor upright as the driver lies in a face down position just a few inches above the pavement. The throttle and brakes operate like a motorcycle, and a custom-built joint allows the rear section to tilt as the driver leans into curves.
Green Lite Motors has developed a hybrid trike prototype that balances efficiency, comfort, and safety with a unique chassis. It is propelled by a hybrid gas/electric motor which can propel the vehicle up to 85 mph. The vehicle can handle the speed and different driving conditions. It gets as much as 100 miles on a single gallon of gas. The two front wheels are offset from the chassis to provide natural roll when cornering. This three wheeled vehicle has cornering characteristics of a motorcycle with the stability of a car. The two front wheels utilize Green Lite’s “smart stand up” technology – a hydrolic suspension that keeps the car standing up when parked. As the vehicle approaches a turn, the wheels tilt the chassis into the turn like a motorcycle. This allows for great stability and handling and allows the driver and the passenger to sit upright. The vehicle can be driven in one of three modes: all-electric, hybrid, or gas only. Wrapped in a full shell, drivers do not need to wear motorcycle gear and they can enjoy the comfort of climate control.
Here is a comprehensive summary of electric tricycles divided into recumbent and upright trikes.
Recumbent Electric Trikes
Some of these e-recumbent trikes are designed for everyday commuting while others “amplify” your pedal power up to highway speeds. As reviewed in the Electric Trike Report and Guide here are 9 e-trikes as well as kits, trailers and concept vehicles.
Organic Transit Elf Electric recumbent trikes are lightweight 3 wheeled pedal/electric vehicles. They are partially enclosed so they offer weather protection. They have cargo & passenger capacity, full suspension, comfortable seats, lights & mirrors. One of the more interesting features is a rooftop solar panel to aid in recharging the batteries while cycling. They can go 20 mph, with a range is 20+ miles, it can carry 350 lbs, and the base price is $5,000.
Hase Klimax e-trikes offer partial weather protection. Currently Hase offers their Klimax 2K series e-trikes with the Shimano Steps mid drive and their Klimax speed trike (up to 45 km/h or 28 mph) with a front hub motor.
HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS 26 S-Pedelec is a full suspension speed pedelec (pedal assist only) that can go up to 45 km/h (28 mph) with a 500 watt rear hub motor.
RunAbout Cycles make custom electric recumbents and other types of custom e-bikes in Fort Collins Colorado.
ICE Trikes offers some of their recumbent trikes with the SunStar mid drive motor kit, however they are only available in the UK.
Como Trikes feature an aluminum frame with suspension and other high quality components. They use the Falco E-Motors system.
Outrider USA makes high performance “adventure vehicles” designed for power and speed. The 2015 Alpha has an astounding range of up to 80 miles. There is even a feature that allows users to add two more batteries to extend the range to 160 miles. It also has a purpose-built air-shock front and rear suspension, as well as increased seat size for an incredibly comfortable and stable riding experience. The cost is around $13,000. They offer a total of 4 different models ranging in speed from 20 mph to 40+ mph, and ranges from 45 miles to 165 miles. The price range starts at $6,000.
The Raht Racer is an enclosed electric trike that “amplifies” your pedal power to assist you up to highway speeds. It is still in the prototype stages but they are working on a production vehicle.
Planet Rider e-trike is not available for sale right now because it is still in the prototype/development stage. It will also offer highway speeds with the intent of replacing a car.
Electric recumbent bike kits include the Terra Trike Rambler with E-BikeKit, EcoSpeed kit and NuVinci N360
Electric trailers that carry some cargo and push your bike include the RideKick, RoadRACE Power Pod.
ECO FUV is a yet to be released electric bike from a designer who is building a complete urban vehicle that marries function and technology.
An electric trike concept from industrial designer, George Cooper is intended to encourage more people to cycle. The goal is to “benefit the rider’s health and financial situation while at the same time improving the environment by reducing pollution and the consumption of finite resources.”
Upright Electric Trikes
This summary of upright e-trikes guide will focus on upright electric trikes. As reviewed in the Electric Trike Report and Guide here is a summary of tilting trikes and traditional upright e-trikes.
Butchers & Bicycles MK1 Electric Trike is a tilting three wheeler that can transport cargo. It has a high tech mid drive e-bike system.
Kaylad-e Electric Trike concept is a tilting electric trike with a mid drive similar to MK1 above
Trikke Electric Carving Vehicle is a trike that uses your leg power from a carving motion (like skiing) along with an electric motor in the front wheel.
Worksman Trike with EBikeKit is an economical trike that retails for $1,200.
eZip Tri-Ride Electric Trike is made by Currie Technologies and provides an upright trike with seat back. The eZip Tri-Ride retails for $1,399.
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