A pedal-powered, electrically assisted three-wheeler sounds ultra weird.
By now, we've all pretty much accepted that electric cars are the way of the future and will soon take over, despite their current shortcomings. There are all types and shapes of electric cars, and brands like Daimler are also working on self-driving trucks, but have you ever considered the idea of a vehicle that actually takes more effort from you as the driver to propel down the road? Of course not, but Daimler has now filed a patent for something that seems to be the polar opposite of its luxurious EQS sedan: a pedal-powered three-wheeler with an electric motor and a trailer for more range. Weird doesn't begin to explain this.
Three-wheelers aren't all that common anymore, and it's no wonder. They don't handle well and they aren't practical - no matter what Morgan says. So why is Daimler considering making one? We're not quite sure, but perhaps this is designed to be something that only one person drives, something for the city that is the same sort of size as a Smart ForTwo. Whatever the end goal is, the initial sketches in this patent are interesting if nothing else. The actual three-wheeler is powered by a pedal connected to the single rear wheel, while a 250-watt electric motor offers assistance by powering the front wheels. Perhaps the idea is that one could use the pedals in traffic and the electric motor when on the move.
So what's the second part of the sketches? Well, this is a trailer with two wheels that can be hooked up to the rear of the three-wheeler. When this is done, the vehicle becomes a traditional four-wheeler with the third wheel of the main vehicle no longer connected to the ground. Instead, it spins on a roller that is used to regulate the speed of a second, more powerful motor housed in the trailer. This 15 kW motor will have its own power supply too, so range would be increased by hooking it up. Let's see if this concept ever reaches production; we still have lots of questions.