January 24, 2008 Electric-transport pioneer ZAP
is now predicting a 2nd quarter 2009 production launch for the planned ZAP Alias(TM) highway electric car. The Joint Venture Company formed by ZAP and China Youngman Automotive Group has invited engineering and technology companies to participate in the project by initiating a RFQ (Request For Quotation) process for the 150-mile range, 100mph three-wheeler which the company hopes to bring to market for around USD$30,000. The news follows the showing of the company's made for iPod electric car and iZAP rechargable battery technology at Macworld 2008 and the announcement of a deal with Coca Cola that will see a fleet of 30 of Zap's compact electric trucks used for a new beverage distribution system in Montevideo, Uruguay, with the aim of targeting areas where larger vehicles are challenged by parking shortages, traffic congestion and air pollution.
October 30, 2007 What a hoot! Piaggio’s
new carving three-wheeler
, with two independently suspended front wheels, opens up yet another whole new category of motorcycle
– a category that will surely explode once people get a glimpse of the ability of these stunning bikes. The MP3’s triangle footprint produces some sensational handling characteristics, making it an exceptionally fool-proof learner/commuter bike – as well as a hilarious hooligan tool for more experienced riders. Gizmag spent an afternoon with the scooter
that just won’t let you mess things up.
September 13, 2007 We’re seeing more and more vehicles coming to market that are completely impractical and purely for fun purposes and three-wheeler trikes
fit squarely into this category. Enter the X2 Arrow, currently being shown in Frankfurt
, a uniquely styled, low-profile trike that offers a driver and a passenger the wind-in-your-hair freedom and snappy handling of a motorcycle with the roll-cage safety of a sports car.
Italian manufacturer Piaggio, the maker of Vespa, is set to become the first company to release a hybrid drive scooter following an announcement that it is developing hybrid versions of its Vespa LX, Piaggio X8 and Vespa MP3 (the carving three-wheeler)
models. The new hybrid system, which has a working title of HyS (Hybrid Scooter), can operate in full electric mode with a range of around 20 kilometres as well as hybrid mode - whenever the rider needs to accelerate more aggressively, the electric motor kicks in, providing about 85 per cent extra performance. Piaggio’s HyS system is a parallel hybrid in which a combustion engine and an electric motor incorporated into the gearbox casing are mechanically and electronically linked and simultaneously supply power to the rear wheel. The system uses drive-by-wire and the in-built electronic management combines the two engines to offer not only better acceleration but also a significant reduction in fuel consumption (up to 170 mpg or 1.67 liters/100 km) and in CO2 emissions, only 40 g/km (using 65% the hybrid modes and 35% the electric one). Perhaps the most exciting prospect is the hybrid MP3 which enjoyed such success as a 250cc it has since been developed as a 400cc version and was recently shown as a stylish 500cc Gilera – a sportier hybrid version of the 500 would enjoy exceptional performance.
June 16, 2007 We've always been excited about the prospects for three wheeled conveyances
. Way back in September 2006, (which seems like ancient history in internet years), Lehman Trikes
announced that they had entered into an agreement for the development of three-wheeled machines based on Harley “motorcycle product” and sold as Harley-Davidson branded vehicles through authorized Harley-Davidson dealers. Given that Lehman has been making a range of turnkey Harley trikes
, conversion kits and accessories for 20 years, with two wheels at the back and a motorcycle front-end, the announcement didn’t get a lot of attention. A recent patent filing by Harley makes the whole story suddenly much more exciting. It appears that Harley isn’t far from releasing a stunning new “carving” model .
Stand in front of it, and it looks like an exotic race car. Peek behind, and it looks like it's got a very large motorcycle up its backside. 0-60mph in under 4 seconds, with the elemental acceleration of a motorcycle, the cornering traction and roll-bar safety of a race car and the complete lack of practicality you'd expect from a machine bred purely for sports. Introducing Quebec's nastiest export: the T-REX
March 21, 2007 Robert Q. Riley
’s radical high-efficiency designs, concepts and kits have been public for a long time, and have often been viewed as non-mainstream and largely irrelevant by an American population with a highly distorted view of the real cost of cheap petrol. Now his fuel-efficient designs seem suddenly relevant – we desperately need new transportation alternatives that conserve energy and protect the planet’s ecosystem, Riley’s latest creation, the XR-3 plug-in hybrid, is a sleek two-passenger, three-wheel sports car that is expected to return 225 miles per gallon. Designed to be assembled by someone with average mechanical abilities and no prior experience, the all-wheel drive vehicle will be available as a kit or plans for complete do-it-yourself construction. The XR-3 Hybrid is currently under development and is scheduled to debut in June 2007.
March 7,2007 After a positive response for its Xebra Xero, electric car pioneer ZAP has designed a solar option for the three-wheeled electric workhorse - a photovoltaic panel that ZAP says can offer short-distance driving on sunlight alone. ZAP intends to showcase the new Xebra Xero (pronounced zebra zero) Truck at up-coming industry events for automotive fleets. The Xebra truck is a city car, available as a 4-door sedan or 2-passenger truck, good for city driving up to 40 mph and will cost about US$12,000 with the Xero Solar Panel Option. The car recharges normally by plugging into a standard 110 volt outlet for a full charge in up to six hours and a 50 percent charge in 1.5 hours. The ZAP Truck converts into a flatbed or dump-bed that can tilt to allow maximum exposure to the sun.
BRP has unveiled its first "on-road" vehicle, the 2008 Can-Am Spyder roadster
. This three-wheel vehicle, with two wheels in the front and one in the rear, offers a completely new and stunning look. Powered by a proven 990cc V Twin engine designed and manufactured by BRP-Rotax, Spyder roadster, with its unique Y-architecture, can be described as part motorcycle and part convertible sports car. Later this year twelve selected American states and four Canadian provinces will offer Can-Am Spyder roadsters through BRP's existing dealer network, followed by France and Spain in early 2008. BRP will then expand its Can-Am Spyder offer to more North American states, Canadian provinces, Europe and other countries, and expects to be present worldwide within three to four years.
February 17, 2007 UPDATED IMAGES Venture Vehicles has formally announced in Los Angeles, the development of a revolutionary (not to mention very cool), 3-wheel, tilting, plug-in Hybrid vehicle under the working name VentureOne
. It’s a two-passenger Hybrid vehicle that will get 100 mpg, accelerate from 0-60 in 6 seconds, will have a top speed of over 100 mph, while being priced at under US$20,000. In addition to the low-emission, flex-fuel Hybrid model, a zero-emission all-electric version is also being developed that will have an all-electric range of nearly 200 miles. A key feature of the VentureOne is the patented Dynamic Vehicle Control tilting technology from Dutch-based Carver Engineering
that allows the body of the vehicle to actually tilt when going through turns while all three wheels maintain firm contact with the road. Carver already sells petrol-engined versions of the machine, and the Phiaro 3-wheeler
is also closely based on the Carver. But a plug-in hybrid with a 200 mile electric range and sportscar performance is very enticing. Production is not scheduled until late 2008 and Venture Vehicles will initially offer two propulsion packages for the VentureOne: the hybrid E50 and Q100, and all-electric Venture EV model. The US$23,000 all-electric model will top the range while the E50 hybrid will sell for US$18,000 and the Q100 hybrid is expected to be priced under US$20,000.