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Deliver-E Trike quietly takes on uneven ground

By

March 11, 2011

Inventor Simon Williams and his Deliver-E Trike

Inventor Simon Williams and his Deliver-E Trike

Image Gallery (13 images)

When those of us who live in urban areas picture letter carriers – or posties, or mailmen/women – we usually think of them as people who deliver the mail by foot. The fact is, however, letter carriers in much of the world use small motorcycles to make their deliveries. If Australian inventor Simon Williams has his way, many of those motorcycles may soon be replaced by his electric three-wheeler. Not only is the Williams Deliver-E Trike quieter and cleaner than gas-powered bikes, but its two rear swing arms pivot independently, allowing the vehicle to lean into turns and stand upright when parked at the side of a sloping road.

Simon had long been interested in building an electric motorcycle, but it was actually a 2005 Gizmag article on The Rider, a tilting electric commuter concept trike, that inspired him to start work on the Deliver-E. "As a motorcycle rider I could see the drawbacks – as far as handling and practicality – but I saw potential for a cargo vehicle based on the tilting three-wheel concept," he told us.

While his trike could certainly find use with commuters and a variety of delivery people, Williams decided to target it specifically at letter carriers. To that end, he actually quit his job and worked as a postie for 18 months, just to get a sense of what they needed in a bike. He discovered that the Honda CT110s currently in use by Australia Post were stressfully noisy, a hassle to manually back up, and that heavily-laden ones could fall over when parked perpendicular to a slope – a situation that could often arise, when dropping off letters in mailboxes along a road's sloping shoulder.

The prototype electric Deliver E-Trike has independently-pivoting rear swing arms, which a...

The Deliver-E has two electric motors, one in either back wheel, which take care of the noise issue (and the need to shift gears). A reverse gear saves riders from having to put their legs down and walk it backwards. The pivoting rear swing arms can be locked in place in any position, allowing it to stand up straight on slopes. They also let it carve through corners, and help ease the rear end up over curbs more smoothly.

"The tilting mechanism was the thing I spent a long time thinking about," he said. "Along the way I came up with all sorts of complex details on how I would get it to tilt. In the end, the tilting mechanism couldn't be more simple. I've never built a motorcycle before – so that in itself was challenging."

The prototype electric Deliver E-Trike has independently-pivoting rear swing arms, which a...

The prototype trike weighs 120 kg (264.5 lbs), has a top speed of 80 kph (50 mph) and a range of at least 60 km (37 miles). Its package of 16 li-ion batteries charges up to 80 percent within one hour, up to 100 percent in three hours, and puts out 5,000 watts. Regenerative braking helps extend battery life. It is estimated that once in production, each trike could be built within five hours.

Williams is now facing the biggest challenge of his vision, however – finding money to commercialize the trike. "I am searching for an investor, which has proven to be the most difficult part of the entire project. Building the bike was the easy part," he told us. "Things should progress quickly once there is some backing behind me."

We wish him luck in his endeavor.

Via The New Inventors

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
10 Comments

2 thumbs up, anyone that reads my comments knows that has never happened before. Honestly I can't find a fault in it, then again I haven't tried to drive it yet.. lol

Anyways good luck, I hope you find a investor that makes it and doesn't shelf it.

Michael Mantion
11th March, 2011 @ 05:28 pm PST

It's a great concept, and something which I really think needs to be brought to inner cities. However, it's called the Deliver-E, but nowhere really in the article or the images, is it clear where the cargo goes!

mb
12th March, 2011 @ 03:18 am PST

Fantastic for elderly living on bush blocks, goofers are not much use there

Conshaw
13th March, 2011 @ 06:32 pm PDT

"searching for an investor, which has proven to be the most difficult part of the entire project" Welcome to the world of inventing. As an inventor all my life I know what you are going through. The advice I have given to many others is simple. Do not focus on one project. Pic the one that you can afford to market entirely on your own and forget about the banks and investors. Use the proceeds to then fund bigger jobs. Think of investors as vultures waiting to steal a meal. This is a heartless world so don't get anxious.

donwine
14th March, 2011 @ 06:58 am PDT

Putting a hub motor on both rear wheels is a great idea. I hope Mr. Williams is able to secure investment, and in the process make the bike a little more visually appealing.

Bruce H. Anderson
14th March, 2011 @ 09:36 am PDT

It is a amazing tricycle. Please, I want write to inventor.

You can tell me e-mail?

Thanks a lot.

Rodolfo Ovalle

Rodolfo Ovalle
14th March, 2011 @ 12:47 pm PDT

http://www.ehow.com/how_6338190_invention-development-funding.html

Government grants, my friend! Start exercising your penmanship to fill out the thousands of forms, though.... it could be time well spent.

Matt Rings
14th March, 2011 @ 05:30 pm PDT

As an Australian Postie who uses the Honda CT110, I can see the advantages Williams has made with this design. What he did not show(as has already been pointed out),is where the cargo goes. You can't hang it(saddle bags) off the body as the mudguards travel will make them too high as to be practical/safe from a centre of gravity POV. So he must be thinking of mounting them above the rear wheels on the mudguard superstructure. I don't see a real problem there,because it is suspended and won't cause any extra damage/loss to cargo than hung bags as is currently done.

When he actually sets one up for Postal delivery,we'll see how it goes. To do this,he needs the delivery bag on the handlebars for the bundle of mail the postie is delivering from-so the instrument pod may need to be moved slightly. And of course the side bags for the mail bundles.

gragraposker
26th March, 2011 @ 08:05 pm PDT

A storage box would obviously be mounted to the back of the seat body work high enough to clear the rear wheel jounce. The photo of inventor looking on from the rear while the trike is balanced on a rock shows there is plenty of room for a storage box with wheel in highest position.

He seems to have achieved tilt by having each trailing arm pivot in the opposite direction of the other by internal gearing within the forward pivot point. Suspension is achieved by two coils acting upon trailing arms emanating from second pivots.

Clever solution to a complicated problem,well done and good luck.

dgate
2nd April, 2012 @ 12:11 pm PDT

You can keep up-to-date with the progress of the M3E Delivery E-Trike on its new Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/m3e.delivery.etrike

Craig Clark
30th July, 2012 @ 09:29 pm PDT
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