T3 Motion to launch "Power Sport" consumer three-wheeled EV
Since its initial launch five years ago, the T3 Motion's stand-up electric three-wheeler has been snapped up by law enforcement, security and military concerns in nearly 30 countries. Shoppers who have looked on with envy as Mall security whizzes past in pursuit of a shoplifter can now rest easy. T3 Motion is responding to what it describes as pent up customer demand and will launch a consumer version called the T3 Power Sport. It won't come with the frightening fire power of the T3 Non-Lethal Response Vehicle we featured back in October, but it will have a top speed of 12 mph, a range of up to 40 miles and will be available in a range of colors and custom paint job or logo options.
T3 Motion says that over 3,000 of its emission-free vehicles are currently being used by police departments, airport and university campus security personnel, municipalities and on military bases across the globe. Consumers, too, will soon be able to get in on the fun with the Q1 2012 release of the T3 Power Sport.
The consumer version benefits from the company's recently patented power management technology which allows users to hot-swap battery units, so one set can be on charge while the other powers the vehicle. There'll be a choice of two lithium polymer battery units - one set will be good for 25 miles (40 km) between charges and the other has a range of 40 miles (64 km). Recharge time is said to be less than three hours and the cost of operation is estimated at less than a penny per mile or "the equivalent of over 400 miles per gallon of gasoline."
The front-wheel drive brushless DC electric motor can pull the 53.5 x 36.75 x 53.3-inch (135 x 93 x 135 cm), 300 pound (136 kg) T3 Power Sport along at four different user-controlled speeds - either 5, 8, 10 or 12 mph (8, 12, 16 or 19 km/h). An LCD display keeps the rider - who stands on an elevated 9-inch (22.8 cm) platform - informed about speed settings, remaining charge and such like. The front wheel is a chunky 6-inches (15.2 cm) wide and 15 inches (38 cm) tall, while tri-blade aluminum rims with disc braking feature at the rear.
Manufactured in the U.S., the T3 Power Sport is classified as a motorized bicycle in most areas, and as such doesn't require any permits or insurance (although it's always wise to check before purchase). It features energy-efficient, high intensity, tilt-adjust LED lighting to the front and brake lights to the rear, and benefits from a very tight turning circle.
The T3 Power Sport can support up to 450 pounds (204 kg) of rider/equipment, and there's a weatherproof and lockable onboard storage compartment, with extra storage racks and trailers available as extras. Other options include an iPad/iPhone docking station and GPS/camera units.
Hopefully the T3 Power Sport will not go the way of the Segway when it's made available next year. Prices start at US$8,900.
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It seems that while such innovative transport forms are to be welcomed there needs to be some updating of laws relating to their use. I for one would not want to be mowed down by a 12mph teenager [or even a 12mph geriatric!] on a \'motorized bicycle\'.
So, in welcoming these I would also caution against their potential danger. Let us work constructively to ensure safe use and so benefit from the innovation.
Unlike segways, they can cruise around effortlessly with a donut in one hand. Since it\'s electric, it should have an interface where they can charge their tasers batteries or something, so they can exercise their power trips with convenience.
In my state of New Jersey, motorized bicycles can\'t even legally exist! Place a motor on a bicycle and it becomes a moped. A moped needs to a license plate and needs to be insured. Even if you could find an insurance company that would insure your motorized bicycle, you\'re going to need a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for the registration and insurance. Bicycle manufacturers don\'t issue VINs for bicycles, so there\'s no way to get the registration or insurance. Net result: put a little motor on your bike to help getting up hills, and you\'re breaking the law. Meanwhile, the Segway was classified as a personal mobility device like an electric wheelchair, which means that someone can ride that, even on the street, with no lights, turn signals, etc. with no license, no insurance, and no age restrictions despite its speed, weight, and far more potential to hurt someone if struck than a bicycle. Of course, my moped needed to be licensed, registered, insured, legally limited to 25 miles per hour, certain roads it couldn\'t be used on, had to have *pedals* or be classed as a motorcycle, etc. Actually, come to think of it... if it has no pedals in New Jersey, that\'s going to classify this as a motorcycle unless it gets classified as a mobility assistance device like the Segway. This would then need all the requirements of a motorcycle... and I don\'t see a headlight, turn signals, etc. on it.
For those complaining about the price... it\'s priced similarly to all-terrain vehicles, and people buy those. It\'s also well in the range of some motorcycle/scooter prices.