Oddball cargo e-trike gets its powered wheels in line
German mobility startup Dolas eBike has unveiled a modern utility take on a tandem bike with the launch of the Defender 250. The odd-looking ride features three motored wheels, 4-inch fat tires, a 180-km range and a load capacity of 250 kg.
The designers introduce the Defender 250 by saying that it "surprises not only with its appearance, but also with details that you won't find on other bikes." That certainly seems to be the case, starting with front, middle and rear wheels each built around a 250-W brushless hub motor for pedal-assist up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph), in line with local ebike regulations.
The wheel amidships is chained to the crank, and a Shimano 8-speed gearset is also on tap. A generous 2,544-Wh battery pack is housed within the trellis-like 6061 frame, which is reported to offer assisted rides up to 180 km (112 miles) per charge. And such things as a second seat, static handlebar, rear rack, baskets and so on can be mounted to the long rail up top.
The novel gliding frame also forms part of the e-trike's patented three-part suspension system that "continuously monitors and adjusts the suspension to ensure optimum ride quality, comfort and handling." Terrain absorption is doubtless also helped along by 20-inch wheels wrapped in 4-inch-wide reinforced fat tires, while stopping power is provided by disc braking with a 203-mm rotor up front and 180-mm rotors at the middle and rear.
Other features of note include a 4-inch color LCD display for quick status checks – with a USB charging port for topping up mobile gadgetry while out and about – and a moto-style daytime-running LED headlight wrapped in IPX6-rated aluminum housing.
The Defender 250 tips the scales at 78 kg (172 lb), including the battery, and is rated to haul a total of 250 kg (550 lb). Pricing starts at €4,650 (around US$5,000, though there's no mention of international sales). Optional accessories such as baskets and crates can be had too.
As with the other three comparatively "normal" Dolas launch models, the e-trike is currently listed as coming soon. Whether it will be street legal out of the gate in Europe is another matter entirely.
Product page: Defender 250