EV City Trike is a new direction for inner city transport. Ditch the car, ditch the van: find a better, more efficient and simpler way of travelling around the city.
EV City Trike is a range of vehicles for urban mobility that combine pedal power with electric to provide highly efficient transport for both personal travel and local deliveries.
Technically classed as e-bikes, EV City Trike's can be used wherever a bicycle can be used and can be ridden by anyone aged 14 or over. No drivers licence, no road tax, no expensive insurance, you can either pedal and use them like bicycles, or sit back and let the electric motor take the strain. EV City Trike's can be ridden on cycle paths and lanes, and are narrow enough to cut through the rush-hour traffic with ease.
EV City Trike is safe. Its eye-catching design is more visible than a bicycle or motorbike, with a high-up seating position to give you a commanding view of the road. It's been designed by experienced automotive designers and incorporates safety features normally only ever found on cars, with integral crumple zones, automotive quality lighting, mirrors and seat belts fitted as standard.
EV City Trike is super efficient. It weighs just 60kg - just over 130 pounds - and can travel up to 50 miles on a single kilowatt-hour of electricity.
The hand-held batteries can be taken off for recharging, or charged up using an optional roof-top solar panel whilst the vehicle is in use.
We are well on the way to completing our first vehicle - EV City Trike Cargo - a ¼ tonne van, which is being road tested prior to launch this Spring. Now we want to expand the range, with a two-seat passenger vehicle (EV City Trike 2Go) and a three-seater EV City Trike Taxi.
The EV City Trike range
We're planning three vehicles in the EV City Trike range:
EV City Trike Cargo
EV City Trike Cargo is our ultra-lightweight delivery vehicle. We have already done most of the development work on this vehicle and are planning to put it into production this Spring.
An enclosed cockpit provides a safe driving environment with protection from the elements. The unique cargo pod design can carry an astonishing 88 cubic feet of freight weighing up to one quarter of a tonne. The cargo pod can also be removed and swapped within seconds, giving us the flexibility of creating lots of different versions of this flexible design: a pickup truck, a flat bed, an advertising vehicle, even a mobile shop or coffee vendor can easily be built and fitted to our trike.
An optional solar roof provides enough energy to keep the on-board batteries topped up during the day: even on a dull winters day, the solar panel can generate enough power to give a range of up to 15 miles, whilst during the summer, the solar panel can provide a range of up to 60 miles.
Flat battery? Slide out the handheld battery pack and slot in a charged one. No need to park up to charge, EV City Trike Cargo can keep going, twenty-four hours a day. An optional roof-top solar panel can charge the batteries as you drive, which means for many owners they may not have to charge their batteries at all.
EV City Trike Cargo has been designed for city centre work: cut through the traffic using cycle lanes, squeeze into the tightest parking space and hop from delivery to delivery quickly and efficiently. With running costs of just a few pence a day, operators can save hundreds of pounds each month compared with running and fuelling a conventional small van.
EV City Trike Cargo production commences this March. We already have customers for them. If you live in Central London, you'll see them delivering packages and mail in just a few weeks time.
EV City Trike 2Go
EV City Trike 2Go is our passenger vehicle, currently under development for launch this summer. Taking two people and their luggage, EV City Trike is an eye-catching and stylish vehicle that allows you to cut through the rush hour traffic using cycle paths and lanes, yet gives you protection from the elements.
As with all our EV City Trikes, EV City Trike 2Go can be driven by anyone aged 14 or over. No driving licence, no tax, it can be used wherever you can use an ordinary bicycle.
Like EV City Trike Cargo, EV City Trike 2Go doesn't need to be parked up in order to charge the batteries. Unlock the handheld battery pack and it slides out in seconds. Slot in a fully charged battery to keep going and charge up your flat battery pack inside your home or place of work.
A generous luggage area takes the weekly shop with ease, whilst optional doors makes EV City Trike 2Go a practical vehicle for year-round use.
EV City Trike Taxi
EV City Trike Taxi is our ultra-modern take on the humble cycle rickshaw. Tourists love the cycle rickshaw experience and the EV City Trike Taxi brings this right up to date with a high tech, ultra-modern design. Unlike many cycle rickshaws, EV City Trike Taxi includes weather protection, luggage space, and safety built in.
EV City Trike Taxi provides seating for driver, two passengers and their luggage. It also incorporates safety features such as seat-belts and front and rear crumple zones to protect driver and passengers in the event of a shunt.
An optional solar roof provides an extended range and powers the on-board entertainment system. Optional twin video displays can entertain passengers and provide interactive advertising for passers-by.
The EV City Trike potential
We believe the worldwide market for the EV City Trike range is huge. Initially we're concentrating on Europe and North America, but later on we're planning on creating specific versions for South America and Asia, replacing existing diesel and two-stroke petro-oil engines with lighter, more efficient and less polluting electric vehicles.
Around many of the world's poorer countries, three wheel delivery vans and auto-rickshaw taxi's have huge, widespread use. Typically powered by diesel or two-stroke petro-oil mix, they are noisy, smelly and bad for the environment. Over half a million are sold each year. The biggest complaint from operators of these vehicles is the cost of fuel: it is common for the drivers to pay more for fuel than they earn themselves.
We believe that volume production in countries like Mexico and India will allow us to build EV City Trikes at a price and a specification to match the purchase price of these other vehicles. Combined with roof-top solar charging and tiny running costs, we believe the EV City Trike range could replace hundreds of thousands of diesel and two-stroke powered vehicles, with quiet, non-polluting, environmentally friendly EV City Trikes, making a genuine difference to the environment.
EV City Trike Technical Specification
- Aluminium chassis and frame
- Vacuum formed plastic bodyshell
EV City Trike 2Go
- 60kg unladen weight (132 pounds)
- Total weight with two passengers and luggage - 227kg (500 pounds)
EV City Trike Cargo
- 60kg unladen weight (132 pounds) excluding cargo pod.
- Cargo pod weight varies depending on exact specification.
- Up to 227kg payload (500 pounds) depending on cargo pod.
- Maximum weight with rider and payload - 336kg (740 pounds)
EV City Trike Taxi
- Maximum weight with rider, two passengers and luggage - 336kg (740 pounds)
Power and Drivetrain
- 48 volt front-wheel hub motor with PWM drive controller
- 250w continuous power output (Europe), 750w continuous power out (US), 500w continuous power output (Canada and Australia).
- Regenerative braking energy recovery system.
- Pedal power to rear wheels through limited slip differential.
- 48v 10 amp-hour detachable battery pack. Hot swap in under 1 minute.
- Optional roof-top solar panel: 300Wp panel on City Trike Cargo and City Trike Taxi, 60Wp panel on City Trike 2Go.
- Solar only range of up to 50 miles per day on City Trike Cargo and City Trike Taxi, up to 10 miles per day on City Trike 2Go.
- Front: Disc brake
- Rear: Twin in-board disc brakes
- LED lighting, front and rear
- Front, rear and side facing reflectors
- Twin rear-view mirrors
- Front impact protection crumple-zone
- Riders seat belt
- Passengers seat belts on City Trike 2Go and City Trike Taxi
- Equivalent of 2,200 miles per imperial gallon - i.e. travel 2,200 miles for the energy equivalent of one gallon of petrol)
- Up to 30 mile range per battery pack. Multiple battery packs can be carried and swapped in under one minute.
- Maximum speed of between 15mph and 20mph for eBike versions, varying depending on local legislation (15mph for UK and mainland Europe). Top speed of 30mph for motorcycle variants planned for Asia and South America.
- UK Legislation classifies this vehicle as an e-bike under the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Regulations 1983 (SI 1983/1168).
- The European version is classified as an Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC) under EU directive 2002/24/EC, and conforming to product safety standard EN 15194 (2009).
- US version classified as a low speed electric cycle (16 CFR Part 1512).
- Canadian version classified as a Power Assisted Bicycle (PAB). NOTE: Not legal in New Brunswick state.
So far, we've been building our first pre-production vehicles. Chassis and drive-train development is complete and we have been running our vehicles - without bodies - for the past month, including road testing. First bodies for the EV City Trike Cargo have been completed and they are in the process of being fitted to our first vehicle (chassis number 2).
Fully completed pre-production versions of EV City Trike Cargo's will take to the streets by the end of January and real world evaluations with customers commence in mid February.
EV City Trike Taxi is a close derivative of EV City Trike Cargo: the chassis and cab is identical to EV City Trike Cargo. Only the rear of the vehicle is different, and in fact, customers could convert their bikes between cargo and taxi variants by changing the rear of the vehicle themselves.
EV City Trike 2Go is a narrower and shorter vehicle than EV City Trike Cargo. Mechanically, the vehicle is identical to the cargo and taxi derivatives and the chassis are built on the same jig as the bigger models. First prototypes of EV City Trike 2Go are scheduled to be built in April and May.
Who are we?
We are Bluebird Performance Engineering, a specialist electric vehicle design business based in the United Kingdom. Our design team have been developing electric vehicles since the 1990s, building everything from milk floats and leisure cars to the Electric Bluebird land speed race car which broke the UK electric car land speed records between 1998 and 2000.
Our designers come from an automotive background. With a focus on form and efficiency, we take pride in creating vehicles that are super-efficient, practical and fun to use.
How EV City Trike's are made
EV City Trikes will be built by our own dedicated team of people based in the United Kingdom. Initially, our production team has the ability to manufacture up to 50 vehicles a month, but our plan is to set up a number of factories around the world to manufacture up to 3,000 vehicles per month at each location, using local staff and creating specific versions of EV Cargo Trike for different regions.
Whilst these numbers may seem overly ambitious in Europe and North America, anyone who has ever been to India, China, Pakistan, The Philippines, Mexico, Argentina or Brazil will have seen how many three-wheel taxis, pick-up trucks and vans there are on the road.
Why are we developing EV City Trikes?
We're genuinely excited about the potential for electric vehicles and for what they can mean for our future. We believe they can have a substantial impact on the environment, reducing carbon emissions and pollution in some of the worlds most crowded cities.
Yet to make a real difference means thinking in new ways. Simply replacing a conventional car with an electric car gives a limited benefit. Looking at how vehicles are used and creating a brand new type of vehicle from the ground up to answer the needs for the 21st Century gives the real opportunity for a positive change for the future.
Take the EV City Trike Cargo, for example. Because we can use cycle lanes and cut through busy traffic, our trike can deliver goods faster and more efficiently than using a conventional van. Our research suggests that up to 25% of all the vans delivering goods in and around the centre of London could be replaced by trikes, streamlining the delivery process, reducing the cost of deliveries for business and removing an estimated eighteen million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide and NOx emissions from the air in London every year.
Look across the world and the opportunities are far greater. There are an estimated three million three wheel Tuk-tuk three wheel taxis in use around the world and around half a million three wheel commercial vehicles are sold each year. The vast majority of these are used in third world cities where the smog hangs over the cities like a thick cloud and tens of thousands of people die as a result every year.
Imagine the difference to city pollution levels if low-cost solar powered vehicles replaced dirty diesel and two-stroke petrol engines? We can't achieve everything right now, but step by step, we can get to the point where our EV City Trike can genuinely replace these vehicles at a similar price point.
We've got this far using our own funds and our own dedication. We are serious about what we do and we have had considerable interest from investors from around the world.
Yet not all money is created equal. Finding partners who are passionate about the vision and not just in making a quick buck is not so easy.
Indiegogo is different. Finding a community that is so dynamic and so keen on change has been genuinely exciting and has motivated our entire team. So instead of talking to investors who are just interested on a return on their investment in the shortest possible time, we're looking for the Indiegogo community to join us on the exciting journey to create a new generation of low carbon vehicles.
We already have customers for our vehicles. The first EV City Trike Cargo's will be delivered to these customers this Spring.
With Indiegogo, we can go further: not just have one model, but put three variants of the EV City Trike into production. The money will be used for producing the first production models, employing staff and getting the vehicles into the hands of our customers.
Risks and Challenges
As Bluebird, we're used to technical challenges and overcoming them. From designing land speed record breaking racing cars to putting an electric milk float into production in China, our designers, engineers and managers have learnt how to overcome the challenges that designing and producing a new electric vehicle throws up.
Technically, EV City Trike is one of the simplest developments we've ever worked on. Yet it hasn't been without its challenges.
Our initial design brief was to "build an electric van for city centre deliveries that can carry a quarter of a tonne and weighs less than 60 kilograms". Could it be done? Conventional wisdom, automotive designers and existing pedal trike manufacturers said it couldn't. It took six months of designing, computer simulations, prototyping and planning to prove it could.
It has meant looking closely at every aspect of the design, fine-tuning components to ensure the best efficiency. For example, our limited slip differential and rear axle, complete with twin inboard disk brakes, weighs less than 4 kilos. The battery pack weighs about the same.
Compare that to a conventional light electric van where the final drive weighs 60kg and the battery pack weighs a further 150kg, you can see how designing in efficiency can have significant environmental and cost savings in the amount of raw materials used to manufacture a vehicle.
We've had suppliers let us down; we've had components that looked great on the computer but that needed rework when they were built and tested; we've gone back to the drawing board to make a good design even better where we see the need and we've been working with the authorities to ensure the vehicle passes all the safety and legislative tests before it can be put on sale. It's all part of the development, testing and production processes.
Once complete, however, will it sell? Initial reaction from around the world suggests it will. We have interest in manufacturing EV City Trike in Mexico and India, we have interest from distributors and retailers around the world. We already have customers in the United Kingdom who will take delivery of their first vehicles this Spring.
We are planning on appointing our first sales agents this Spring, and touring the UK to demonstrate and show EV City Trike to the public this summer. Next year, we'll have EV City Trike's in volume production in the UK and be working hard on getting them into production in other countries around the world.
No business is ever guaranteed its success, but we are confident that EV City Trike is a great product that is here to stay.