Electric Powered Bamboo Tricycle
Can this electric powered bamboo tricycle provide solutions to traffic congestion and air pollution in China? British expats Chris Trees and his wife Florence certainly believe so. The couple, who have lived in Shanghai for five years, are hoping to ease traffic congestion, parking and pollution problems with their new eco-friendly "Bamboo Treecycle" invention which is proving to be a big hit.
The Chinese economy is booming, and as a consequence more and more people can afford their own cars which is causing car-clogged cities. While numerous European countries are successfully putting their citizens back on the bicycle, Chinese people still associate tricycles with poverty and hard work.
Engineer Chris Trees is hoping to change that attitude with his electric powered bamboo tricycle, which borrows some technology from the modern automobile, including speed control, windscreens, solar-powered lights and brakes.
Check out this video presentation of the Bamboo Treecycle
The Bamboo Treecycle is a modern electric-powered tricycle built from lightweight aluminium and a large bamboo canopy. It can seat up to three people and can travel for 110 kilometers without charging the battery.
The fully charged standard battery provides 720 watt/hours of energy, sufficient to power the assistance motor at full power for nearly 3 hours. In practice, because the motor only provides assistance, this means a full charge lasts for 6-12 hours of normal use depending on how hard the rider pedals, the assistance level selected and the loads carried. The batteries can be recharged more than 500 times over their lifetime.
The bamboo tricycle weighs a little over 60 kg in its unassisted passenger transport version, and about 75 kg with electrical assistance. The unassisted version can be pedaled comfortably at around 15 km/h on the flat when loaded. The assisted version will go a little faster and will climb moderate hills comfortably, even when heavily loaded.
The bamboo tricycle features 4 disc brakes, 8 gears, and can hold 2 passengers. There’s a windshield, a removable canopy, and the bike passed it’s rain test with flying colors. The passenger load is transferred direct to the rear wheels, with shock absorbent rubber mounts between the body parts and frame location.
The standard width of the bamboo tricycle is almost exactly 1 meter, this ensures that access can be gained to all cycle paths and that it remains compact and agile in traffic, not hindering other road users. The tricycle also has a very small turning circle, which can turn almost in its own length.
Chris Trees says: "Some measure of our success is that when we ride in downtown Shanghai, it is not uncommon for drivers of Porsches and Bentleys to wind down their windows and say what a cool vehicle we are riding."
The bodywork of the Bamboo Treecycle can be easily removed in a few minutes, and other versions for special purposes are currently developed. One of them being a cargo version.
Source: MGT Engineering