Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Sway unveils its sporty tilting three-wheel e-scooter prototype

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April 11, 2012

After years in development, Sway Motorsports has unveiled a prototype of its tilting three...

After years in development, Sway Motorsports has unveiled a prototype of its tilting three-wheel electric scooter, one with a rather sportier bent than the tilting electric three-wheelers we've seen before

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After years in development, Sway Motorsports has unveiled a prototype of its tilting three-wheel electric scooter, one with a rather sportier bent than the tilting electric three-wheelers we've seen before, such as Sidam's Xnovo. And though this is a relatively low-powered machine, judging from the videos this thing isn't without agility and zip. Clearly the Sway is pitched squarely at the leisure market.

The scooter is the spare time project of IDEO toy-designer and Rhode Island School of Design alumnus, Joe Wilcox. Prior to his current stint at IDEO, Wilcox worked at NASA's Johnson Space Center and MIT on various space-oriented projects. I'm not one for arguments from authority, but it's probably fair to say that Wilcox knows a thing or two about design.

We got in touch with Wilcox to find out about the Sway scooter's spec, and though the final details could change (it's not due for release until 2013), Wilcox was able to reveal some particulars.

The prototype pictured here is powered by a 60-V, 20-Ah lithium iron phosphate battery pack, which gives the vehicle a range of about 10 miles (16 km). Sway Motorsports intends the production model to include a 60-Ah pack for a range in the order of 30 miles. The wheels are driven by a 3500 W hub motor in the Sway's solitary rear wheel, giving the 230-lb (104-kg) scooter a top speed of 40 mph (64 km/h). The Sway's overall dimensions are 52 x 35 x 40 inches (1.32 x 0.89 x 1.02 m), and its three wheels are 10 inches in diameter.

All the lighting from the headlights to the turn signals (plus some decorative strip lighting) is LED-based.

"Notable about this design is the patented placement of the batteries in the wing/foot platform that extends back from the bottom bar of the linkage," Wilcox told Gizmag - an innovation which keeps the battery away from the tilting mass and helping to keep the Sway's center of gravity as close to the road as possible.

As for that tilting mass, the scooter's tilting steering mechanism is perhaps its most eye-catching feature, and is probably best observed in motion (see the video below). There's no final word yet on pricing, but one can expect the Sway to be rather more expensive than its more staid, tilting brethren, if only due to tighter production runs.

Source: Sway Motorsports

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
8 Comments

That is brilliant - overall just wonderful... the joy of riding.

Beautiful - nice size, width - range is a bit limited - for where I live, and it needs saddle bags for the shopping and all.....

All the linkages look nice and strong...

Easy to get on and off.......

Free, open, airy, stable and plenty fast enough.

Mr Stiffy
11th April, 2012 @ 07:04 am PDT

*COUGH* Piaggio MP3 *COUGH*

stimpy77
11th April, 2012 @ 02:39 pm PDT

Actually I can see this being ADAPTABLE to so many other purposes as well.

A mower cylinder blade on the front - with tilt locking.

A set of small fork lift tines.

A front box - for shopping or carting wood.

Work site / workshop models.

A towing thing in warehouses.

Attachments for power tools like chain saws.

Horticultural spraying equipment.

Off road uses, on the farm etc...

It's a brilliant machine - just for the ride Clyde, but it also is small and compact and it fills the niche between far too much for a person to carry and far too small for a car / tractor / buggy device.

Plus it's size this gets in everywhere.

If it was made to carry 100 - 200 Kg of material on the front end - and a more industrial set up was made, with the bars pushed back and the load over the axles, I think this will be a very popular device.

If it was maxed out with a carrying capacity of a 200 liter drum, this will be a universal, go everywhere, do everything vehicle.

Mr Stiffy
11th April, 2012 @ 03:05 pm PDT

Me also likkie - what a concept.

Been really down lately, wondering when and if affordable electric

cars will ever make it to market. Fifty K plus Australian dollars is

not cheap even with all the bells and whistles.

Gas (petrol) price here for 98 octane with dollar to dollar conversion

is approx. $US 8/gallon.

Electricity prices are some of the highest on the planet and we are

told 'expect it to double in 3 years. Fixed income families are hurting

now.

Our salvation I feel, in terms of energy, is 'household wind', 'solar'

and on broader baseload generation, 'geothermal'.

The slant scooter with optional extended range will get a lot of people

off the freeway onto limited speed cycleways or into the emergency

breakdown lane when the numbers are there. If the local State Government

agrees to my proposal of using a 'Sky jack' helicoper or several, to remove breakdowns immediately and fining persons for driving poorly maintained

vehicles and causing obstruction/delay to others.

The option of a clip-on weather resistant fairing will also add to the appeal

of the scooter. i.e. a full length fairing with the below handle

bar section ribbed and able to vertically expand/contract with the tilting action.

How much and when please?

The Stav
12th April, 2012 @ 03:21 am PDT

When are the EV makers going to allow us to hear (not hear) the EV's lack of sound instead of, as in this case, put music over that makes the EV sound like a farting lawn mower.

Mel Zimmer
12th April, 2012 @ 01:10 pm PDT

If you put much weight in the front I think it will not handle well at speed.

The Hoff
12th April, 2012 @ 04:27 pm PDT

So sensible. This should be taken up by big manufacturers.

Dawar Saify
13th April, 2012 @ 04:11 pm PDT

stimpy77 see a doctor for your chesty cough (and optometrist, too - nothing like the MP3)

brp675
13th April, 2012 @ 10:26 pm PDT
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