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The Vegan Hybrid Electric, Self-Charging, Solar Trike Is an EV Unicorn
There was a time when microcars were all the rage, both because they seemed like a fun thing to own without feeling burdened by the commitment to a full-sized vehicle, and because they eschewed certain regulations due to their size. Today, the appeal of microcars has more to do with their efficiency, low cost and the fact that they can be made 100 percent green.

The Vegan Hybrid Electric, Self-Charging, Solar Trike Is an EV Unicorn

The Vegan is a hybrid electric, solar powered trikeThe Vegan is a hybrid electric, solar powered trikeThe Vegan is a hybrid electric, solar powered trikeThe Vegan is a hybrid electric, solar powered trikeThe Vegan is a hybrid electric, solar powered trikeThe Vegan is a hybrid electric, solar powered trikeThe Vegan is a hybrid electric, solar powered trikeThe Vegan is a hybrid electric, solar powered trike
A variation (of sorts) of the microcar is the fully-enclosed tricycle or, if you will, that curious little thing that can’t seem able to make up its mind on what it wants to be. Fully electric or even hybrid-electric trikes of this type do exist and they’re amazing in what they offer in terms of cutting down running and maintenance costs, and pollution, but they’re price-prohibitive. Translation: they’re too expensive for common folk, who would rather buy a new car with that kind of money.

Not so The Vegan, a trike that promises to deliver the unicorn equivalent of the EV industry. It’s a fully-enclosed tricycle that’s hybrid-electric, self-charging and solar-powered, but also incredibly lightweight yet reliable. It’s basically as easy to operate as a standard bicycle, but comes with all the comforts and safety of an actual car – or, at the very least, a chunk of both. And it’s dirt cheap, too!

All this on paper, for the time being. The Vegan exists in concept form, and a Canadian startup is now crowdfunding on IndieGoGo to bring the first working prototype to market. Once a first stage in funding is secured, they promise to deliver even more prototypes to pledgers by March 2021, with the ultimate (and very ambitious) goal of placing one such unicorn in every household and even more in service fleets in major cities.

The Vegan is dubbed “the world’s first lightweight multipurpose hybrid electric-self-charging solar tricycle,” according to the campaign description. That’s a mouthful alright, and it would be an attention-grabber even without the promise that one such EV could sell for as little as $1,400 – basically less than what you pay today for a mid-range e-bike.

With an aluminum chassis and a carbon-fiber-enforced fiberglass body, The Vegan weighs 175 kg (386 pounds) with battery, and has a total payload of 300+ kg (661+ pounds). Despite its light weight, it’s stable, the designers say, because it has two wheels in the front. Seating inside is for three people (one in the front and two in the back), but you can easily squeeze in four people in total if they’re of a smaller size. The two seats in the back can fold down, and you can turn The Vegan into a cargo trike.

Powered by a 1,000 watt BLDC electric rear hub motor, The Vegan can average speeds of 30 kph (18.6 mph) but can go as fast as 70 kph (43.4 mph), if you’re really in a rush. A 500 watt pedal-assisted version is being considered, for those who don’t mind breaking a sweat while running errands, if it helps cut down costs even more.

A rechargeable, hot-swappable acid-gel 88 Ah battery is good for 90 to 95 km (56 to 59 miles) on a single charge, but remember, this is a hybrid trike and you can also extend that range with solar power. To that end, you have a panel of 120 watts on the roof and it, together with regen braking, will take the estimated range all the way up to 120+ km (74.5+ miles). If you carry a spare battery, you can double it. A full charge is achieved in 4.4 hours for the battery and 10.2 hours with the solar panel, the designers estimate.

If all this didn’t blow you away, there’s also the promise of using only high-quality materials and parts, from the windows to the seats, and the front and rear suspension. Inside, there would be GPS-tracking, unspecified “high-end safety features,” and even a 12V AC outlet for gadgets like Blu speakers and phone charger.

With a “fully concealed cabin for protection from all the external elements, so you can get out & enjoy a ride in any weather,” The Vegan would be operated without license and registration in “most municipalities.” The goal is to deliver it to backers for as little as $1,400, as noted above, and an MRSP of $3,500 once it goes into mass production.

A fully-electric unicorn on three wheels, we told you.



Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third party.

 
 
 
 
 

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