Personal Transport: The People’s Trike!

 

Recumbent trikes are the fastest-growing segment of the bicycle industry.

They can easily and comfortably widen the market for pedal power vehicles tremendously, and thus become a unique TRANSPORT SOLUTION, especially for cities. With electrical assist they can be practical in ALL areas.

two tricis ancho

Starting in 2016, upon seeing that we did NOT receive the support of the Banca para el Desarrollo funding contest nor the UNA Incuba business incubator to be able to advance with the electric car, we decided to concentrate on “Plan B”.  This is an efficient and practical personal transport for MANY MILLIONS of people around the world.  We can supply that huge market by locally franchised small efficient factories.

Why Trikes?

When pedal-only our trikes are SAFER, more FUN and more PRACTICAL than bicycles, with a cost similar to a high-end bike!   When fitted with electric assist, our trikes are:

ONE FORTIETH (1/40) the WEIGHT of an electric car.
ONE TENTH (1/10) the COST of an electric car.
TEN TIMES (10X) as efficient in energy use compared to an electric car!

The average vehicle occupancy is 1.5 people, and the average speed in cities is 20 to 30 miles per hour (30 to 45 kph).  So, 2/3 of the time a trike can replace a 4000 pound (1800 kilogram) electric car, using 1/10 the energy, 1/4 the space on the road, 1/20 the parking space, and much less strain on our planet and our lives.

Are trikes the MISSING LINK between bicycles and cars?   YES!

But some would say that missing link would be motorcycles.  NO.   Motorcycles can be used ONLY by those who can both ride a bicycle AND drive a car.  The combine the WORST of bicycles and cars: noise pollution, air pollution, balance problems, vibrations, licensing, decreased safety and weather vulnerability.

Pedal/electric trikes can be used by anyone who can ride a bicycle OR drive a car!  Our trikes combine the BEST of bicycles: good exercise, zero pollution, low cost, little or no licensing requirements, low vibration, simplicity, light weight, quiet operation, possible local fabrication and connection with the outdoors with the BEST of cars:  comfortable seating, no balancing needed, greater cargo capacity, increased safety and weather protection.

Ours is unique because of its folding mechanism that allows it to be folded or unfolded in under 10 seconds and stored in the space of a chair, eliminating parking and theft problems.  Also its unique design adapts very well to a folding fabric bodywork with a windshield that makes it the first folding trike that is practical for all weather conditions.  It is a FOLDING PEDAL/ELECTRIC CAR! (the folding mechanism is in the process of patenting).

TRICI 1

TRICI 2

Our first trike is called the TurisMóvil.  It has full suspension and a large luggage capacity.  Our prototype has 1000 watt motors in the front wheels and 1.5 kilowatt hours of lithium batteries, making it a 3-wheel-drive all-terrain folding micro-car that can accelerate quickly, climb 20% slopes and go up to 100 kilometers with electric assist, with a top speed of 55 kph (34 miles per hour).  As its name says, it is for long-distance touring.  It folds to about 55 x 80 x 125 centimeters (22 x 32 x 50 inches), allowing it to go through any doorway, rolling on its folded front wheels, and store vertically in a space 55 x 80 cm (22 x 32 inches).  It uses mostly standard 20 inch bicycle parts easily available locally, mounted on our unique frame.

Our second trike will be the MiniMóvil.  It will have only rear suspension (more than most trikes) and uses a 20 inch wheel on back and 16 inch on the front, making it smaller and lighter.  This is a great vehicle for daily commuting to town or work.  It can also be electric, usually with a single motor in the rear wheel (750 watts for the US market).  It will fold to 55 x 65 x 100 centimeters (22 x 26 x 40 inches) and store vertically in a space 55 x 65 cm (22 x 26 inches).

The two versions will work VERY well with pedal power, and are for people of ALL ages, since there is no need to balance them.  It is easy to add an electric drive with one or two motors to increase speed, range, and practicality, at an additional cost depending on the system (Shimano, Falco or others).

We hope to finish and test the prototype in the first months of 2018, and offer them for sale in Costa Rica and internationally on indiegogo.com by the middle of 2018.  The price will be under 800 thousand colones ($1500) for the MiniMóvil and less than one million colones ($1850) for the TurisMóvil. Export pricing will be $1495 and $1995 plus delivery costs, a favorable price compared with our competitors, which do NOT fold conveniently.

Ian Kos en trici

            Ian Kos, an engineering student at Northeastern University, who helped
with the design and building of the electric car and trike in 2016.

For comparison see  http://www.industrialbicycles.com/Recumbent-Trikes

You can see the only commercial builder in Latin America at:  http://www.arttrike.com.br/produtos

 

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