Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

The Emcycle: a 3-wheel, tilting, fully-enclosed 500 W pedelec weighing just 80 lb (36 kg)

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February 28, 2012

The featherweight foam-reinforced Tegris composite monocoque gives the emcycle the kerb we...

The featherweight foam-reinforced Tegris composite monocoque gives the emcycle the kerb weight of a pedelec (36 kg) and the facilities of a car

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The potential for electric assisted human powered vehicles to play a substantial role in the transport systems of the future is immense, and there has never been a better example of this potential than the Emcycle concept. The Emcycle is a tilting, three-wheeled pedelec (electric pedal assist), with a foam-reinforced, Tegris composite monocoque body, full suspension and a kerb weight of just 36 kg (80 lbs).

The Emcycle will initially offer 500 W of electric assist with plans for 1,000 W (1 kW) and greater versions later. Indeed, there's every reason the Emcycle would make an ideal basis for a full electric version without pedals - as you will see later, a modest 2 kW motor combined with the Emcycle's light weight offers a very frugal yet rapid commuter vehicle.

Car-like amenity

The biggest selling feature of the Emcycle is obviously that it is an electric bicycle with nearly all of the comfort, safety and weather protection of car.

The Emcycle also offers many of the most important creature comforts of a car, such as instrumentation, wipers, an entertainment system and a huge lockable carrying capacity.

The emcycle

In addition to its own weight, the Emcycle can safely carry an additional 320 pounds (144 kg), including the weight of the rider, making it ideal for the city bike rental and inner urban delivery vehicle markets.

It is as a commuter vehicle that the Emcycle has the most potential though. It can ride on the bike path, it can mix safely with traffic, and the amount of energy it uses when being replenished may well be insignificant on your electricity bill.

The Emcycle is the result of many years of design experience in many different industries - Emcycle's creator, Michael Scholey has designed automobiles for British Leyland, toys for Mattel, been Director of R&D for a range of personal safety products such as respirators and hearing protection ... plus many more projects of different kinds in his role at a consulting industrial design company.

His work has taken him into many different technical fields, and for a period he worked at an industrial fabric company as the technical expert dealing with the aerospace companies such as Lockheed, Boeing and Raytheon.

The emcycle envisaged using bike lanes

He even spent time designing an electric car for one of the many start-ups in the growing EV space.

The Emcycle is "partially a product of many years of thinking about transportation systems of the future," says Scholey, who undertook post-grad transportation studies at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, "plus a fascination with new materials and improved ways of doing things."

The purpose of this vehicle is to enable anyone to commute in a degree of comfort and with more safety than on a normal bicycle", says Scholey.

"It is not a substitute for a sporting cycle but more of a substitute for a car," he emphasizes. "To that end it has the size and economics of a bicycle with the amenities of a car."

"The electrical assistance and full body enable a rider to ride in their normal clothes vs spandex and arrive ready for work or play vs all sweaty or soaked and worn out, and because it is enclosed, no helmet is required to be worn."

"It has suspension both front and rear and the two front wheels tilt to allow bicycle-like banking in corners.

"The bankability is made so that the vehicle stays upright when standing until the rider decides to bank over. No feet need ever touch the wet or dirty street. The two front wheels also give more secure cornering traction and superior braking performance, and with three hydraulic disc brakes, it stops rapidly and safely. It also has a handbrake for parking.

Two front wheels for grip and banking over during cornering will make the emcycle an urban...

Access to the bicycle lane with an enclosed bike will be a novelty, particularly one which will power along comfortably at 25 km/h (15 mph) - a speed not achievable on a human-powered bike without some exertion.

Using the bicycle lane whenever possible, the Emcycle is hence very safe. On the roads, a disproportionate number of fatalities occur when vulnerable road users (bicycles and motorcycles) mix with less vulnerable (cars). In this regard, the Emcycle is likely to fare better than either the bicycle or the motorcycle in a crash with a car. That's just opinion at this stage, though in discussions with Emcycle's designer, he did mention that he thought the Emcycle would perform very well in certain tests and not so well in others.

Side impacts will obviously be one of the challenges of the Emcycle in terms of being able to match car crash test standards, but it must be remembered that the Emcycle is significantly safer in its intended environment, and much safer than a naked bicycle when forced to mix with cars.

In my experience, the direct routes offered by bicycle paths often make commuting by bicycle much faster than a car in inner urban environments. Bicycle paths usually go straight through parks, whereas cars usually get to go the long way. Bikes almost always have privileged access lanes which bypass major traffic lights and other time-wasters, and the bicycle path never gets as congested as the road.

Hence the Emcycle offers a genuine alternative for commuters.

The use of Tegris composite

The key to the Emcycle's remarkable weight and strength is its polypropylene thermoplastic composite Tegris monocoque chassis.

Tegris is quickly gaining a reputation as being better than carbon fiber composite for many applications, along with offering irreplaceable material qualities to many new industries. It's no accident. Milliken is one of those companies that makes lots of things you use, but they're part of other products, and hence not branded.

Milliken set out specifically to engineer a composite with lightness, stiffness and excellent impact resistance, at the request of the United States military. Its impact resistance is so good in comparison to typical thermoplastic and thermoplastics composites, that it is being used in protective clothing against fragment, projectile or blast threats, and in body armor against ballistic threats.

The first product to be made entirely of Tegris is the Ultimate 12 Tegris kayak from Native watercraft - you'll note that the product page specifically states: "Hammer strikes won't harm this hull, so it can shrug off hard landings and rocky bottoms like nobody's business. And yet with all that strength, the Ultimate Tegris tips the scales at just 36 pounds (16 kg)."

Tegris is also the key ingredient in Panoz's REAMS (Recyclable Energy Absorbing Matrix System) composite, which is used in making stronger and lighter racing automobiles.

The Emcycle: a 3-wheel, tilting, fully-enclosed 500 W pedelec weighing just 80 lb (36 kg)

The Monocoque Chassis

Monocoque is a term that normally doesn't get applied to vehicles as small as the Emcycle but it essentially means the construction uses an object's external skin as the load-bearing structure, as opposed to using an internal frame. Planes pioneered the idea a century ago but it wasn't until the 1958 Lotus Elite road car that we saw a monocoque chassis in a production road car.

The splash caused by the Elite's monocoque chassis was nothing however, compared to the reaction to the Lotus 25 Formula One car designed by Colin Chapman for the 1962 season and rolled out for the first time at the Dutch Grand Prix.

The car won three races during the year and comprehensively proved that a monocoque chassis could be both lighter and stronger, and at the same time provide a safer car for the driver.

Quite soon, all the cars on the grid were using monocoque chassis, with the first carbon fiber monocoque appearing on John Barnard's 1981 McLaren MP4/1. Now, all Formula One cars use carbon fiber composite monocoques, and racing is a safer place for it.

An example of just how safe a carbon fiber composite F1 car is these days was Giancarlo Fisichella's crash at Silverstone in the 1997 British Grand Prix. Fisichella's Jordan plowed into the barrier at 227 km/h, decelerating to zero in 0.72 seconds according to the black box. He suffered a minor injury to his knee.

So the Emcycle is not just light, but also strong, and the resultant 80 lb (36 kg) kerb weight bears testimony to the benefits of this type of construction.

Further enhancing the strength of the Emcycle's chassis is the use of foam for reinforcement, an area of composite construction that Emcycle's Michael Scholey has been experimenting with for years.

Sadly, the polycarbonate dome that sits atop the Emcycle is not nearly as bullet-proof, otherwise the Emcycle might have claimed the title of the world's cheapest armored vehicle.

The screen might offer full 360-degree visibility, but I have my doubts as to whether the design could be used anywhere but in cold climates - a bit of sun on the Emcycle might well turn it into a mobile sauna.

Horsepower, Watts, Humanpower and electric-hpv hybrids

Just as petrol-electric hybrid vehicles get their motive power from two sources (petrol via the internal combustion engine, and batteries), the Emcycle is a human-electric hybrid drawing its energy from two sources - its batteries and the human riding it.

The emcycle

Nominally, for insurance purposes, the first Emcycle will have a 500 W motor, which can be used in conjunction with the power supplied by the human riding it. This enables it to meet future EU regulations and require no license or insurance.

Now 500 watt equals 0.67 horsepower, and the term horsepower derives from exactly that - the power output of one horse. Way back at the beginning of the industrial age, Scottish inventor James Watt invented a new and more efficient steam engine, then was faced with selling something brand new - a machine that could perform work.

Having no precedent upon which to base his business model, he made the sound judgement of selling his machines for a share of the money they saved in comparison to traditional methods.

The first round of sales for his revolutionary steam engine were to people who already owned and knew the value of the older and less efficient Newcomen steam engines - the mines - and he cleverly continued to take royalties for the amount of coal saved by replacing a Newcomen with one of his.

When he moved into the next phase of marketing his engines, the customers were mill owners who were actually replacing horses with the steam engines.

The Watt steam engine catalyzed the industrial revolution.

So Watt set about determining a measure for the amount of work a horse could perform for comparison purposes, and the mill gave him a perfect context. From observation, he determined that the average mill horse could turn a mill wheel 144 times in an hour, pulling with 180 pounds (81 kg) of force on a wheel that was 12 feet (3.6 m) in radius. He rounded out the calculation to 33,000 foot-pounds per minute in 1782 and horsepower began its journey into becoming the first widely recognized unit of power.

Watt himself would later have the now accepted International System of Units (SI) power metric named after him, with 745.7 watts equaling one of his original horsepower.

The interesting part of the story is that Watt used the work output of his machines, as measured by the number of horses they replaced, to both demonstrate the value of his machinery, and to cleverly monetize the invention.

To some extent, the model is still alive today, with automotive manufacturers offering more powerful engines in the same car at a considerable premium.

How much power can a human being produce?

The biggest difficulty in comparing the output of an animal and a machine, is that engines don't tire, while horses and humans tire quickly. Humans and horses can both produce prodigious horsepower in short bursts, but this drops away rapidly.

Once upon a time, we'd have struggled to address this issue accurately, but the invention of the cycle power meter has changed all that. Now we can accurately visualize the levels of horsepower that human beings can sustain over time.

Tour de France enthusiasts already know from the telecasts of the great race (which now feature live transmission of data to on-screen information graphics), that elite level Tour de France cyclists put out around 250 watts when they are aerodynamically shielded by the field, to more than 500 watts when they are attacking on hill climbs. It should be remembered that Tour de France riders are the very elite of world cycling, and not representative of the average human being.

Power weight plot

Cycling Power Models put the above chart together, which I think gives a clear picture of how much a healthy human can play a role as a power source over a one hour journey - about 200 W for a healthy amateur cyclist, through to over 450 W for elite cyclists.

Average critical power curves

For the sake of easy calculation and comparison with other hybrids, I'm going to call the average human input 500 watts - partly because many of the electric motor power output figures quoted in hybrid cars are peak power figures and partly because most manufacturers fudge the figures just a tad anyway.

Putting the weight of the Emcycle in perspective

The biggest enemy of performance and/or efficiency in any form of motorized conveyance, from a racing car to an ecomarathon special, is weight.

This makes the Emcycle unique, because it is so light, that it almost defies comparison with conventional forms of transport.

The lightest cars currently on the international market are two-seater city cars such as the 900 kg (1,984 lb) Mitsubishi i, the 1,090 kg (2,043 lb) Volkswagen up!, 860 kg (1,896 lb) Toyota iQ (below image, top left) and 730 kg (1,609 lb) smart fortwo (ED electric drive model shown in below image at bottom left) - all of them morbidly obese by comparison to the Emcycle's 36 kg (80 lb).

If the Volkswagen up! (below top right) weighs nearly 30 times as much as the Emcycle, it will obviously require 30 times more power to achieve similar performance levels, and 30 times more work to achieve the same result.

The Toyota iQ, Volkswagen up!, smart fortwo and Toyota Prius

Premium green cars such as the Toyota Prius (1,380 kg/3,042 lb - above image bottom right) and Honda Civic Hybrid (1,250 kg/2,756 lb) can have all the aerodynamic tweaking you like, and they're never going to achieve the frugal energy usage of a vehicle that weighs just one fortieth of the mass, and has a frontal area of one third.

Toyota claims a drag co-efficient of 0.25 for the Prius, though tests suggest it is actually closer to 0.30. The drag co-efficient is very important to a car's efficiency - equally as important as frontal area. How much power you need for any given level of performance is directly proportional to both. We don't know the drag co-efficient of the Emcycle, but as the frontal area of the Emcycle is much smaller than a car's (I estimate one third the frontal area), further significant efficiency gains are likely.

Honda's PCX 125 scooter

My vote for the best pound-for-pound commuter vehicle in the world right now would probably go to Honda's PCX 125 scooter. Its 11.1 bhp engine is powerful and flexible and sweet to ride, yet it uses miniscule amounts of fuel thanks to an advanced fuel injection system. It delivers 110 mpg (2.1 L/100 km) because its motor only needs to push around a kerb weight of 127 kg (280 lb) - yet it weighs more than three times as much as the Emcycle.

A Bergman 125 maxi scooter from Suzuki, another two wheeler with a great deal of creature comforts, comes in a lot heavier at 159 kg (350 lb) dry (no petrol or oil), while heavier commuters such as the Piaggio MP3 (208 kg/458 lb) dry), 650 Bergman maxiscooter (269 kg/593 lb dry) are respectively six and eight times heavier.

So even in comparison to the humble scooter, the Emcycle is considerably lighter and hence has a big advantage in terms of efficiency.

The final bit that you need to experience to understand is the compatibility of human and electric power - when you want to go a little bit faster, the extra 500 watts you can summon can propel the bike forward so quickly that you feel superhuman.

Cars only use full power under acceleration - cruising along and maintaining a particular speed does not require much power at all - hence the Emcycle produces all its power when it is needed, and thanks to its low weight, it uses cents worth of power, not dollars worth of gasoline.

So given that the maximum human thrust available for the first few seconds from standstill well exceeds 500 W, the Emcycle has a 500 + 500 = 1,000 watt output and courtesy of its feather-light weight, it has a very respectable power to weight ratio.

Comparing this with the aforementioned vehicles and their power outputs offered some interesting insights into the nature of the Emcycle due to its light weight.

Power to weight ratios

The Emcycle is so light that the 500 W electric assist will offer pretty quick acceleration - you will still need to pedal a bit, but not very much, as the emphasis of the Emcycle is to enable people to wear normal clothes and not to need to exert themselves.

Ten years ago, Gizmag's entire editorial team spent two weeks with Aprilia's Enjoy - might I suggest you read the article in conjunction with this one - we loved the Enjoy, which was essentially a 29 kg (64 lb) bicycle with 200 W of pedal assist and a top speed of 27 km/h (17 mph).

The Aprilia Enjoy Electric assist

The Emcycle weighs just 7 kg (15 lb) more than the Enjoy, has a minimum 500 W of pedal assist, and the first version of the Emcycle to be made will have a 500 W motor and a limited top speed of 25 km/h (15 mph). Hence if we were more than happy with the Aprilia's 200 W, I expect the Emcycle will be very brisk.

Part of the secret of putting the miniscule amounts of energy the machine uses to most advantage is in the compatibility of human and electric power - electric motors make maximum torque at zero RPM, so they are great for getting you going from a standstill,

Simply put some grunt into that first push and a pedelec accelerates rapidly, "like some giant hand is pushing the bike from behind." This single aspect takes a huge amount of effort out of riding the bike.

It also makes a lot of sense in personal transportation to have a vehicle which isn't range sensitive - the thought of being left stranded with an empty battery rates for most people somewhere on the fear scale between a trip to the dentist and public speaking.

As the Emcycle is perfectly usable without electric assist, becoming in effect a heavy bicycle, it can be safely used until the batteries are exhausted, and you'll still get home with minimum fuss.

In conclusion

The Emcycle seems to have all the boxes ticked as far as a future participant in the personal transportation arena - Scholey has something viable that appears to challenge conventional transport solutions and achieve a level of energy efficiency that cars will never get even close to.

It's still a concept, and Scholey is seeking investors in the project to ready it for manufacturing.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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24 Comments

any side wind is going to blow this over surely? A big truck passing will suck it across the cycle way without a doubt. Nice idea but not for me

robinyatesuk2003
28th February, 2012 @ 06:13 pm PST

funny how they show a healthy amateur cyclist (likely to be on par with the demographic target) output is 200 watts, yet use 500 watts in the comparrison for 'ease of comparrison). they even say this is above the elite level tour de france cyclist's ability to output for long distance.

the Emcycle beats everything in power to weight....just. if you use a more reasonable value for human input for a 30-60 minute journey the smart fortwo ev has a better power/weight ratio

Jacob Shepley
28th February, 2012 @ 07:43 pm PST

This thing has "wishful thinking" written all over it. Scholey's "Art Center College of Design" credential confirms that. He's a designer, not an engineer.

Gadgeteer
28th February, 2012 @ 09:05 pm PST

Not even really a 'Concept Vehicle'; just an IDEA, DREAMS, and some FANCY COMPUTER GRAPHICS! Once they make an 'operating prototype', demonstrate the ability to build a Monocoque Chassis, incorporate their fancy electronics, show that it will not 'blow over' in a modest breeze, and can build it at an AFFORDABLE PRICE, then it may deserve some publicity as a viable transportation option. Just a 'fluff' piece that we will never be seen on the roads! Sorry to be so NEGATIVE, but I am tired of seeing "Neat Ideas" that we will never be able to purchase!

Roger W.
28th February, 2012 @ 09:13 pm PST

Designers for personal vehicles has a hard slog ahead to get peoples mindset out of a 2000 kg steel cage. The big advantage here is the small foot print on the road and the fact you stay dry in this thing.

Picture yourself on a busy open country road without cycle lane everyday and I agree, that is probably not a good place for this vehicle.

But living in a city with little parking space and crawling traffic or ample cycle paths and suddenly this vehicle seems perfect.

I agree that the side surface is large but looking at that canopy that can easily be reduced.

Paul van Dinther
29th February, 2012 @ 12:15 am PST

Also, the european laws for what is a bike, e.g. allowed in bike lanes, is 250 Watts maximum. The article says 'future' european laws. Perhaps but that is pretty far off right now.

Fred Funk
29th February, 2012 @ 02:40 am PST

The execution is flawed, even though the concept is valid : less is more !

My TWIKE is a lot faster, much less wind-sensitive, and much safer because of its low-profile space frame and roll bar.

A fast two-seater has to keep to the road, though.

For bicycle paths, a closed pedelec recumbent would make much more sense.

Bart Viaene
29th February, 2012 @ 03:31 am PST

Lancia pioneered with a road-going monocoque, and the 1934 Citroen made it popular. In a velomobile, the loads are so diffuse that it only makes sense as a safety shell with structural benefits. Slow aircraft don't use it.

No details are given on the tilt control system, very sorely needed with these proportions. It seems to have a moped's ergonomics for pedaling, so it won't even provide healthy exercise. A recumbent would, and be more comfortable.

This is a lovely dream, but I can't feel optimistic about it entering the real world.

Bob Stuart
29th February, 2012 @ 06:03 am PST

Lots of interesting stuff here, but also a lot of assumptions! For pedalling, the seating position falls between the two stools of recumbent and conventional and would be much worse than either IMHO. On the other hand, as a 3-wheeler, more than 250watts is already allowed by EU regs, and 1kw will soon be allowed even for 2-wheelers, albeit still with the 15mph/25kph max speed. Clive Sinclair's 2-wheeler looked very promising, apart from the tiny wheels - what has happened to that? At least they got further than this by building a prototype! This project also has a long way to go before it's as real as the Twike, and that's what it should be compared to, once it actually exists!

I'm very skeptical about the 36kg weight claim, for a start; perhaps they conveniently left out the weight of the battery?! Finally, it's disappointing to see the common mis-spelling 'Bergman' instead of the correct BURGMAN for Suzuki's maxiscooters repeated several times here, especially when it's spelt correctly in the charts! No excuse! PNB

paulblez
29th February, 2012 @ 06:24 am PST

I own a Sinner Mango velomobile with 170W power assist. Without power assist I can cycle ~30 km/h, and with power ~38 km/h on a 1 hour journey to work. With those realworld figures in mind I can safely say the 500W engine is overkill if you only want to drive it at 25 km/h, someone else already mentioned the european max for pedelec is 250W, which would also speed it up to above 40 km/h.

Sidewind has not been my largest problem, but the Mango is a lot lower, and my mass sits a lot lower. In fast corners my mango does 'lift a leg', which will most certainly topple this Emcycle, even when it tilts like the Carver.

Then there is the price, it think it needs to be at least 2x what they say here to be made in the quantities the market needs.

Cas Tuyn
29th February, 2012 @ 06:32 am PST

Here in my local area I am the only one that uses a bike to do local errands all year round and this thing must be a joke. Try riding up a grade in the summer time or over pot holes everyday.

joe1946
29th February, 2012 @ 09:40 am PST

The Emcycle website describes the "banking" to be accomplished by working against springs that will hold it upright.

They obviously haven't built even a basic working prototype, as this scheme won't work. Trying to lean, or "bank" through even a moderate corner you will be fighting the springs, and you won't be able to achieve the required lean angle. By not leaning far enough, you will fall over to the outside of the corner, as the 24" track width and a high CG will not allow decent cornering as a non-banking tadpole trike.

There's a lot of work here, and nice try, but Fail.

Rossco
29th February, 2012 @ 11:33 am PST

For tilting expertise the designer should visit the Tilting group on Yahoo

Rossco
29th February, 2012 @ 11:37 am PST

Why all the bashing when it's only a well thought out design exercise? It has so much potential and with many benefits as a city vehicle. Hopefully,it will become a alternative in the future.

chidrbmt
29th February, 2012 @ 11:47 am PST

The "bashing" is just pointing out that despite the great volume of work done, the underlying fundamental tilting technology is unsound. I would love to see a small tilting vehicle suceed, but this one will not. Has anyone have any recent news of the Sinclair X-1?

Rossco
29th February, 2012 @ 12:27 pm PST

Excellent article. Side wind could be a problem and topple it. The solution to smaller safer personal transport is a 3 wheel design, one at the back 2 in the front reasonably apart for stability at any turning speed. It will be a tandem 2 seater and with tilting technology. The groceries space will be in the front just above the tilting mechanism. Power can be hybrid with ultra efficient range extender or simply ultra efficient engine. One will have to stop working on 2 wheels and move to more for safety. The example above can be without tilting mechanism.

Dawar Saify
29th February, 2012 @ 01:39 pm PST

I like the concept very much, especially because it would be a perfect vehicle to be used on my concept, the People-Express Thruway (P.E.T.). I describe the P.E.T. in my book, THE P.E.T. SOLUTION ( www.PETsolutionOnline.com ). A rough schematic of the P.E.T. is shown on the cover.

The basic premise of my book is that Single-Occupant Vehicles (S.O.V.s) is probably the primary culprit of traffic congestion in cities. In order to get drivers out of S.O.V.s we must provide them with a way to get around as safely, conveniently, comfortably, and flexibly as a car.

The Emcycle would be an excellent vehicle, and the P.E.T., with exclusive lanes for it, would provide Emcycles safe "pathways" to get around cities conveniently and comfortably . I use the analogy of how most pedestrians would not walk through a city with heavily-traffic but no sidewalks. The same with vehicles like Emcycles; most travelers would not venture into the roads and streets with them, mixed in with trucks, buses, cars, etc.

The Emcycle is the means, the P.E.T. provides the way.

P.E.T.
29th February, 2012 @ 05:14 pm PST

Ample credit was given for the riders effort, but none was given for his baggage (50-70kg). This "battery & motor" weight must be included; It goes along for the ride too. It is the reason for the transportation. 36+50=76 76/36=2.1 Multiply this factor times each pwr to wt given for the Emcycles. The other heavier rigs are less affected by the riders wt.

doliver
29th February, 2012 @ 09:08 pm PST

Without the cooling airflow of riding an open bike you will be hotter and sweatier after expending the same energy in the same length of time.

Slowburn
29th February, 2012 @ 11:29 pm PST

Look, I heartily applaud the stated goals of this concept, but I fully agree with robinyatesuk2003 the design looks like a recipe for disaster - it's envisioned to be very light, so I figure a little taller and a bit flatter, and you've got yourself a FINE Frisbee my friend! And as we all know Frisbee's get carried by the wind!

Come on - the wheel base is FAR too narrow, and the center of gravity much too high. The more I look at it the more aggravated I become.

Though his credentials seem reasonable, I would really like Emcycle's creator, Michael Scholey to explain how this three wheeled platter is NOT going to be very negatively affected by wind shear? Has he even bothered to construct a SINGLE physical model before releasing this"voila" so proudly out into the world? Yeah, I can see it's opened to the air at the bottom, but a side gush is going to hit it very hard at the top - and if the Emcycle gets t-boned by another vehicle it's game over for the occupant. They're going down and they're going down HARD - it just seems ridiculous.

While I'm on my cranky rant, I've got to question Mr. Hanlon's critical thinking when he writes gushing lines like "there's every reason the Emcycle would make an ideal basis for a full electric version without pedals" well not if any of my concerns and those of preceding commenters like Cas Tuyn have a shred of validity.

Damn KIDS! - where are my 'nerve' pills!

yrag
1st March, 2012 @ 12:01 am PST

power to weight chart is wrong power goes up weight stays the same but power to weight goes down that not right. dream if it was done corectly.

Peter Wilson
1st March, 2012 @ 07:44 am PST

This basically seems like they think they are reinventing the velomobile, a much more aerodynamic and stable vehicle.

Michaelc
2nd March, 2012 @ 08:45 pm PST

I own one of these, basically. I have a velomobiel.nl carbon fiber Quest with 500W electric assist. I'm getting 1000 mpg equivalent. It's top speed (downhill) has been 64 mph. It goes about 35 mph on a flat road. I road it from Tampa to the Ocala national forest in December. It's like riding a toboggan and it handles like a canoe on wheels.

Facebook User
5th March, 2012 @ 02:07 am PST

Those who question the tilt-ability and viability of 3 wheeler design should look at the Dutch Drymer, a fully going concern, not a "design exercise".



mgb
26th March, 2012 @ 04:39 am PDT
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