Umm ... How is the driver supposed to see past that big white thing in front of the driver\'s face? And how does the driver get into and out of the vehicle?
But seriously, I think this class of light-weight vehicles make good sense for everyday commuting, both in size and energy usage.
8th February, 2011 @ 3:19 p.m. (California Time)
Great idea - except for the wheel in the face visibility issue....
For that = Dumb .
Still setting the developers loose in busy traffic on a bicycle with a blindfold on should solve that.
8th February, 2011 @ 6:54 p.m. (California Time)
Having the driver\'s weight high over the single rear wheel, which has ZERO resistance to rolling over, is bad CG placement- unless this is supposed to be a tilter.
3 wheels can be as stable as 4, but to work, the CG position is critical.
8th February, 2011 @ 8:13 p.m. (California Time)
I\'m a real fan of innovative three-wheeled vehicles like the (belated) Carver, but really Citroën (and gizmag too)? All the great tech in the world and you\'re choosing to highlight this poorly conceived contraption where the over-sized wheel is blocking the windshield?
8th February, 2011 @ 8:40 p.m. (California Time)
How can such a \"wheel in the face\"-stupidity win anything? Well, good luck, Citroën!
9th February, 2011 @ 12:07 a.m. (California Time)
Nice looks ! Needs some refining towards practicality, though...
I\'ve been driving a full-electric three-wheeler for 13 years now, to full satisfaction.
It\'s called a TWIKE. Two-seater, with optional pedals (recommended !!) and regenerative braking.
Will be hard to beat...
9th February, 2011 @ 4:56 a.m. (California Time)
Ouch my neck hurts looking past that tire. A Royal pain in the neck. Make it a 2-seater or give the driver a video windshield. Make the wheel discontinous, so you see the road between the tire segments as they fly by. Make the tire a net or a jump rope, make it a razor-thin brush. Mr. Obama would you please take control of Citroen for a few months and fix the student loan system at RCA?
9th February, 2011 @ 6:30 a.m. (California Time)
Besides the obvious visibility issues there is another major flaw with this concept. How is the rear wheel attached to the vehicle?
If it is using mag-lev this would provide very low resistance but would easily push this out of the \"cheap to build\" category.
If it is using wheels/beerings above the driver then this would not provide low resistance and any debris picked up from the road would easily cause mechanical problems.
9th February, 2011 @ 8:48 a.m. (California Time)
How much do you suppose it will cost to fix a flat or replace a tire on that rear wheel?
9th February, 2011 @ 9:08 a.m. (California Time)
Yeah...and that big wheel and housing looks like a giant sail too!
9th February, 2011 @ 1:19 p.m. (California Time)
And that\'s why I have such utter disdain for engineers and conceptual designers, regardless of how educated they may be, not one of them displays even a basic grasp of common sense or practicality. It\'s my opinion that no piece of complex equipment should be finalized until a production spec prototype has been completely operated and serviced by it\'s designers, then maybe durable goods will start to be user friendly and of practical design. Sure it\'s \"cute\' and \"trendy\" looking, but with a frontal blind spot of that magnitude it\'s an accident waiting to be built!
9th February, 2011 @ 1:57 p.m. (California Time)
This is yet another one of these insane \"design\" concepts that keep on getting thrown up here. I honestly don\'t understand what possible benefit even posting something so obviously flawed can offer.
Issues that can be simply identified at a glance;
Visibility; As mentioned a number of times above HOW DO YOU SEE?
Suspension; While there are hubless wheel offerings around the shop they STILL NEED SUSPENSION. There is no suspension apparent on this vehicle and it could not be implemented without having a structural wheel support incorperated under the bodywork which would then require a floating subframe suspended under the cowling, widening still further the tyre area which you\'re somehow supposed to see through.
Stability; To provide any stability a trike must have its center of gravity well within a tetrahedron defined by the three contact patches and the intersection of the three lines pointed inward and upward at 45 degrees, if this isn\'t done then it will fall over in normal operation. This design WILL FALL OVER in normal operation.
Steering; In its present configuration this design is incapable of turning corners, apparently the front is intended to be suspended on it own, which means that there are no mechanical joints to steer with.
There are also less apparent issues with the fact that there is no demonstration of where the power supply and motors would interface with the wheels, how the brakes are applied etc. Total front end suspension would also cause massive issues with ride quality, which would likely be punishing to say the least.
9th February, 2011 @ 2:34 p.m. (California Time)
The visibility issue is simply a monitor screen located over the offending wheel on the inside of the driver\'s compartment & the same ingenuity that went into the Concept design could easily address the other \'insurmountable\' issues...DUH!!
10th February, 2011 @ 1 a.m. (California Time)
I like the look. and the idea of sitting high in a small vehicle. I also like the out-of-the-box idea of sitting in the wheel even though its not a mono-wheel type vehicle. But there are issues. However, the placing of this on Gizmag is great because others will see it and improve the concept. I think micro-light cars are a great idea. Because as the article states, most people cannot afford NOT to have at least one large vehicle for various reasons. If we could have something like this, where the price and fuel usage are very low. If people cannot afford a second vehicle they obviously wont buy one. But if I spend $50,000 for a work truck (Because I need that vehicles capabilities in order to make a living) and for another $4,000 I can have a runabout; why wouldn\'t I do that? It just makes sense. Yes there are numerous issues to be dealt with in THIS vehicle, but the basic idea of micro-light cars is great. And might I add that the center of gravity is not as much an issue as some people here believe it to be. Batteries are horribly heavy(my guess in this vehicle about 200lbs) and would be mounted low and forward, thus offsetting the driver position. And you have front-wheel-drive so the wheel motors are mounted low and forward yet again; another 100lbs or more.(this could be achieved with a diesel engine and its various power-train components.) Further offsetting the drivers rearward position. The visibility is an easy fix...two rear wheels instead of one; or move the rear wheel back behind the driver. And the rear suspension should be integrated into the actual wheel or wheel hub and not the chassis. Front suspension can be trailing link independent style. My personal interpretation of this design is a might bit longer. Longer wheelbase provides for more stability and easier driving at higher speeds. The micro-light automobile will still need to travel along side other vehicles on the freeway in and around urban areas.(That is why I like the high seating position, visibility is life in a vehicle this small. See the Aprilia Magnet- awesome concept but you\'d want to mount a flag to the back so you don\'t get run over!) And should be capable of at least having reasonable range so as to be of value for those folks who live in suburban and rural areas. This might be accomplished by having both electric, hybrid or fuel powered options. (I personally would try for a tiny turbo diesel. Low emissions and plenty of torque)I totally agree with the engineer comments! I am an engineer/designer/RbadampD, but as one person stated that engineers should do, we DO personally use and service the designs we make. We even help in the construction of our designs the first time in order to get a grasp and understanding of how simple or difficult it is to construct.(yes I can weld. lol) We also take into consideration materials and their costs(keep waste to a minimum), manufacturing systems and methods, shipping and packaging costs and target market. If nobody can afford it, it wont sell. (LOL) And I don\'t see these concept engineers thinking of those things.
15th February, 2011 @ 8:05 a.m. (California Time)
I am overjoyed to see my competition in the \"between bike and car\" niche, (or are there several niches there?)
Yeah, the shop time to remove, repair and replace that rear is a deal killer! Not a roadside picnic I suspect.
Drew, you know Citroen has a long \"onsolete\" system integrating front and rear springs (one on left and one on right), but I like that Ford transverse springs are still driven and that under chevy hotrod rat cars! That is known to work, plus the solid axle, not I.R.S. has the best roll coupling specs, which is why real stump and rock crawlers can still do them real justice.
A longer wheelbase is geometrically superior because the shoulders come inside the lines from the front wheel contacts to the rear wheel contact. You then need to lift the c.g. where as with a short base, it merely falls over. Much as falling off a rail as opposed falling off a cot between rails...
And yes- taller please. It Must be the SAME Height as regular vehicles to be seen in the mix. I\'m 6 foot, I prefer a sedan hi: say up to my chinny chin? about 5foot2 , leadlights of blue, turn sigs, optional winter heater and defroster and night camera and a few hambands plus cb.
Bear-in Camo...I know that\'s a lot of add-ons, but the basics, will you consider the basics at that quoted $4,000 U.S.? How much KwH of battery can I get in for that? ouch- lead yet I guess, like in the E-dragsters using spiralcells..and maybe - Oh all of the motors under $thousands are China made - but perhaps a 750 Watt or in Our old terms 1 h.p.
Bear in camo- call me At gmail...I want to talk. call it market research on my part. P.S. I need a reliable welder in Puget Sound, Wa...
23rd February, 2011 @ 1:05 p.m. (California Time)
Though we're years away from a world where every commuter owns an electric, lightweight vehicle such as this one, the E-3POD is a perfect example of what's possible for the cars of the future. By using lightweight materials such as plastics, automakers like CitroÃ«n are creating a whole new standard for electric vehicles that are both advanced in design and incredibly fuel-efficient.
Read more about plastics in cars on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/plasticcar
9th March, 2011 @ 10:12 a.m. (California Time)
At first I thought the same as most commenters but then began to think of solving the issues mentioned. Tire problems? how about run flat or a tire compound not requiring air and thus no maintenance.
Vision blockage why not optics/mirrors/screen on either side of the "obstructed area" making it invisible.
Another problem not mentioned is lack of suspension for the mono wheel but suppose that to could be overcome. Making this a tilting trike would be easy and a must for good handling and comfort.
3rd July, 2012 @ 5:06 a.m. (California Time)