iTank electrifies the tilting three-wheeler
Although motorbikes are able to cut through traffic more easily than cars, they do have a few drawbacks. For one, they topple over more easily, making the daily commute a riskier proposition than it would be in a four-wheeled vehicle. The fully-electric EV3 iTank splits the difference, using a three-wheeled setup to offer a more stable, silent ride through traffic.
Trikes like the Piaggio MP3 and Yamaha Tricity have been taking on the trike market for years, but they still rely on old-fashioned gasoline power. For the iTank, however, Doohan has turned to battery electric power for silent, smooth city riding.
Power comes from a 2600 mAh lithium-ion battery pack, and range is pegged at around 100 km (62 mi). Recharging should take six hours, but the battery unit weighs in at just 9 kg (20 lb), and can also be easily swapped out for a spare. That will come in handy when the battery pack starts losing its efficiency, something Doohan says will happen after around 5 years or 600 charge cycles.
Hooked up to the rear wheel is a Bosch electric motor, pumping out 1.85 kW (2.5 hp) of power. Ignore the tiny power output though, because electric driving is all about torque. Thanks to the healthy 128 Nm (94 lb-ft) on offer, Doohan says the iTank will hit 45 km/h (28 mph) in a peppy 4.6 seconds. Unfortunately that's where the action stops, which means this isn't really at home on highways. Instead, it's more at home on tight city streets, where you're unlikely to top 40 km/h (25 mph) anyway.
It'll also scale gradients up to 15 percent with riders weighing up to 160 kg (353 lb) on board, while cutting the rider weight back to 80 kg (176 kg) lets it climb gradients of up to 25 percent.
Wrapped around the battery is a die-cast aluminum chassis, hooked up to a cross-mounted rear shock absorber for a lower center of gravity. Doohan says the trike's low center of gravity, combined with its 50/50 weight distribution and 99 kg (218 lb) kerb weight, make it a sharp handler that doesn't topple. The whole system is water and dust proof, so it'll also be able to run on gravel, although the road-going tires don't exactly suggest go-anywhere capability.
At the moment, Doohan is seeking funding on Kickstarter, where the project hasn't yet made much of a dent in its US$7,998 goal with 23 days left. Pledges start at US$29 for a set of branded riding gloves, but the bike itself will cost at least $3,999. There's no word on how much individual battery packs will cost.
If all goes as planned, deliveries are expected to start in October this year. Take a look at the EV3 iTank in action below.