July 13, 2005 We’ve seen more than a few three wheelers that tilt and carve at Gizmag: machines such as Finnish designer Heikki Naulapaa's Magnet, Swedish designer Tommy Forsgren's Hermes, Australian designer Dimitrios Scoutas' Skipee and the Mercedes-Benz F 300 Life-Jet all exude motorcycle-like sports appeal. But Isreali designer Elisha Wetherhorn's carving machine is more akin to an electric bicycle. The Rider is an electric commuter concept trike that “carves” around corners, can run for four hours at 15 km/h and folds up so it can be used to go the “final mile” when used as an adjunct to traditional automotive or commuter transport. The Rider weighs just 14 kilograms, incorporates regenerative braking and a front-wheel electric motor and the 24 volt battery can be removed for ease-of-charging.

The defining aspect of the character of the Rider is its steering mechanism which enables it to tilt when turning, offering an element of fun which is so often missing from straight commuter machinery.

The "Rider" is directed at commuters. It works via an electric motor that is located in the front wheel, and runs from a 24 volt battery which is placed in the spear of the front forks. The battery can be pulled out for it charging. Fully charged, the battery, it can run for 4 hours and get to a max speed of 15 km/h.

“According to my research, commuters would use the Rider for less than 30 minutes a day,” Wetherhorn told Gizmag. “It’s main purpose is to provide convenient and economical transport for the final mile of a daily commute, although it could easily be promoted as a fun machine if it was marketed differently.” “But it’s the convenience of the rider that makes it an ideal commuter because it folds down to a shape that can be easily managed on a bus or train or popped in the trunk of a car. While it is light at 14 kilos, it can also be wheeled, so you don’t need to actually carry the weight.” And the Rider can easily be taken inside and stored in an office or a flat.”

“With the sort of daily usage predicted by the research, charging the battery once a week would be sufficient and we probably need more research to decide whether the regenerative braking is really necessary given the light utilitatiran usage we expect. Regenerative braking might not be necessary and would add to the manufacture costs.”

Wetherhorn is now seeking an alliance or partnership to develop and manufacture the Rider, “though I’d love to hear from any company with interesting projects seeking an industrial designer,” he said.

“I have an American and Isreali citizenship and I’ll travel anywhere for the right opportunity.”

Email Elisha here.

View gallery - 7 images