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.
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.
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.
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.
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning