T3 Motion to add GT3 three-wheeler to its electric vehicle line-up
By Darren Quick
June 9, 2010
With its T3 Series electric standup vehicle (ESV), California-based company T3 Motion took aim at the police, security and site management markets with a no-noise, no-pollution, fast-response, one-person vehicle that delivers long battery run time, short recharge time and operating costs of around 10 cents per day. It expanded its line up with the four-wheel CT Micro Car that is designed to service similar markets to the T3 Series. Now the company is taking aim at the wider consumer market for the first time with the GT3, a two-passenger, plug-in electric vehicle that features a single, wide-stance, rear wheel with two tires sharing one rim.
T3 Series ESV
We first took a look at the T3 Series ESV back in 2006 and since then the T3 ESV has picked up numerous awards, been enlisted for patrols with various police departments - both in the U.S. and internationally – and been deployed at more then 100 Target stores across the U.S. where they are used to patrol store parking lots. T3 ESVs are also currently used for security patrols in approximately 15 percent of airports in the U.S. and the vehicle even made a cameo appearance in Iron Man 2.
The key factors contributing to the T3 ESV’s wide range of applications are its economy, simplicity and ease of use. With a low center of gravity it is highly stable and offers wide visibility and strikes a commanding presence for the driver on a 9-inch platform. The vehicle’s dimensions of 53.5 x 34.6 x 53.3-inches (LxWxH) means it can access restricted spaces including elevators and narrow corridors, while its 0-degree turning radius make it incredibly agile. It is also very quiet and can travel at a user selectable 5, 8, 10, 12 or 25 mph.
The vehicle boasts a cargo capacity of 450 pounds, including both rider and equipment which can be stored in the vehicle’s lockable onboard storage compartment.
The company offers a choice of battery options for the T3 ESV offering ranges of 15, 25, 45 or 75 miles, while the vehicle’s two field swappable battery packs are designed to allow for virtually unlimited range.
CT Micro Car
The CT Micro is designed as the perfect two-seater fleet companion for the T3 ESV and is aimed at the same public safety, private security, civilian and military security, and parking enforcement markets. It has a top speed of just 25 mph (though it can be improved to 35 mph for some environments) and a 35, 45 or 75 mile range based on the chosen battery option.
It can be driven on public roads (subject to local requirements), and features safety belts, headlamps, windshield wipers, safety glass and regenerative braking. Additional safety features include four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, four-wheel independent suspension, optional air bags, high-rigidity aluminum frame, and collision-impact-absorbing front and rear bumpers. Locking doors and trunk are standard.
The latest electric vehicle to join the T3 Motion sable is the first aimed at the wider consumer market. The company’s new GT3 electric vehicle is a two-passenger, plug-in commuter vehicle that draws on the company’s experience gained from deploying over 2,000 electric vehicles and over 5,000 lithium-polymer batteries. It is powered by an 18 kwH lithium-polymer battery and an AC induction motor that can propel the vehicle to a top speed of 70 mph with a range of 80-100 miles per charge. A multi-link, dual-shock rear suspension in the GT3 is similar to suspension systems found in today's Formula One racecars.
Aside from its aerodynamic styling and sleek lines, the first thing you’ll probably notice about the GT3 is that, like the Triac we saw at NAIAS 2010, the GT3 sports two front wheels and one rear wheel. However, unlike the Triac, the GT3’s rear wheel design is built around a single, wide-stance wheel with two tires sharing the same wheel. T3 Motion says this two-tire design improves traction, stability and handling, while the low rolling resistance and rounded profile of the rear tires increase energy efficiency.
Three-wheeled vehicles have traditionally been the domain of motorbikes, but three-wheeled configurations are gaining popularity with electric car manufacturers - whether it be the one wheel front/two wheels rear configuration found in vehicles such as the VentureOne and ZAP XEBRA or the two wheel front/one wheel rear configuration found on vehicles such as the ZAP Alias, Campagna T-REX, Higgins-Aube ENERGYA and VW GX3 – with the weight reduction by losing one wheel one of the major factors contributing to their newfound popularity.
The GT3 also features an in-car, integrated “black box” video and data recording system that provides continuous recording of vehicle location, G-force and speed. T3 Motion says the car has proven its mettle in rigorous driving tests, (a small sample of which can be seen in the video below), and clay modeling of the exterior body is underway.
T3 Motion is taking pre-orders for the GT3, which will be priced between US$35,000 and $42,000.
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