Typically the terms "tight handling" and "electric three-wheeler" are mutually exclusive, particularly when you are talking about the "two-at-the-back, one-at the-front" designs. Joining Adiva and a number of other manufacturers we've looked at in recent times, London-based electric bike manufacturer 50Cycles is looking to marry the two by introducing tilting functionality into the equation. The company's Veliac Three electric tricycle uses a new lean mechanism designed to ease maneuvering around corners and curves.
As 50Cycles describes, electric tricycles combine the inexpensive, eco-friendly benefits of electric bicycles with more stability and load carrying capabilities. However, handling on twisty roads can be challenging thanks to the big wheels in back.
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The Veliac Three has a torsion bar running lengthwise that allows the foreframe, seat, handlebars, forks and front wheel to lean independently of the rear-wheel box. So riders can lean into turns, similar to how they would on a bicycle, without experiencing any rear-wheel lift. The company believes the system solves the handling drawback of the tricycle, offering a smoother ride. Since the rear doesn't move, the basket in back stays level, protecting your cargo. The torsion bar is controlled via a handlebar-mounted lever and can be locked out completely to keep the frame stiff, if the rider chooses.
Outside of its tilting axis, the Veliac Three is a normal electric tricycle. It uses a 250-watt brushless hub motor powered by a 36-volt lithium-ion battery. The motor operates in three drive modes, and a pedal-assist system provides a means of exercise for those that want it. The trike has dual handbrakes, a brake light, turn signals, front and rear lights, and an electronic horn. Front suspension and a large saddle with backrest ensure a comfortable ride.
One carry basket is fitted over the Veliac Three's rear wheels and one hangs off the handlebars. The trike has a capacity up to 308 lbs (140 kg). The rear wheelbase was made narrow enough to fit easily through doorways.
The Veliac Three is available now for a retail of £1,490 (US$2,382), which includes UK delivery. 50Cycles also lists a variety of countries on its shipping chart.
Source: 50CyclesView gallery - 5 images