Urban Transport

Three-wheeled electric "truck speedster" leans into turns

Three-wheeled electric "truck ...
The Lastkraftflitzer has a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph)
The Lastkraftflitzer has a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph)
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The Lastkraftflitzer was on display at the IAA Mobility 2021 show, earlier this month
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The Lastkraftflitzer was on display at the IAA Mobility 2021 show, earlier this month
The Lastkraftflitzer has a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph)
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The Lastkraftflitzer has a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph)
If equipped with seats in the front, the Lastkraftflitzer can reportedly also be used to transport children
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If equipped with seats in the front, the Lastkraftflitzer can reportedly also be used to transport children
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Electric cargo trikes are an eco-friendly option for making deliveries in urban environments, but the things can be unstable when turning corners. Tilting trikes offer a solution to that problem, and the Lastkraftflitzer is a particularly intriguing example.

Currently in functioning prototype form, the Lastkraftflitzer was designed by German mobility company ZF Friedrichshafen. The vehicle's name is German for "truck speedster."

It features a 4-kilowatt rear hub motor – there are no pedals – which takes it to an electronically limited top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). A representative for the company informs us that higher speeds are possible, where permitted.

As is the case with other tilting trikes, the Lastkraftflitzer's two front wheels tilt into corners, keeping the vehicle from tipping over. In a rather clever arrangement, though, its dual LED headlights remain horizontally level throughout the turning process, keeping both of their beams trained flat on the road ahead.

If equipped with seats in the front, the Lastkraftflitzer can reportedly also be used to transport children
If equipped with seats in the front, the Lastkraftflitzer can reportedly also be used to transport children

Stopping power is provided by disc brakes in the front and a motor-integrated brake in the rear. When the vehicle is parked, a parking brake, anti-theft immobilization system and a tilt-lock mechanism are all automatically engaged – these help keep the trike from rolling way or getting stolen, while also keeping it sitting up straight.

There's currently no word on when – or if – the Lastkraftflitzer will enter production. For now, though, you can see it in action beginning at the 05:22 mark in a video on the ZF website.

UPDATE (Sept. 30/21): The Lastkraftflitzer was in fact designed and built by BrakeForceOne, which is a subsidiary of ZF Friedrichshafen.

Source: ZF Friedrichshafen

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3 comments
3 comments
Mace
Remarkable that ZF, usually a Tier1 to the auto industry, came up with this.
Or is it sort of a demo project, to let people know what might be possible.
Btw, there are more 'tadpole-configured' three-wheelers, also for passenger transportation.
Troublesh00ter
Very interesting, but hardly original. I can still remember an episode of CHIPS (yes, I'm THAT old!) which had a motorcycle with sidecar that used very similar mechanics to allow the sidecar to lean with the bike into turns.
jerryd
A very needlessly complicated truck where the front suspension takes up all the room is not the way.
A tilting front single wheel and 2 not tilting wheels in the rear is the key with far more load ability.