Electric three-wheeler at the Energy Fair

This vehicle, called the Rahtmobile by its creators, is a prototype electric three-wheeler car. It’s a close approximation of a velomobile, and it does have pedals, but the driver’s effort charges the battery, rather than driving the wheels. I thought it was quite well done for a prototype and am eager to see further iterations.

Here’s how it works: the driver sits in the middle, and there’s room for a passenger behind. The driver can pedal and juice up the batteries, extending the estimated 40-60 mile range. Top speed is estimated at 80-90 mph, so it is capable of highway travel. The power is transmitted to a hub motor in back.

The body is a custom carbon fiber layup, the frame is custom, the rest is a mixture of off-the-shelf components like ATV suspension parts and LED bicycle lights. Overall it’s an intriguing approach to an electric commuter vehicle that has the potential of being useable year-round.

However, I’m curious about how it would handle severe winter weather. I also think that making room for a couple bags of groceries would be ideal. What do you think? Does a two-seater electric commuter make sense?

A semi-homebrew electric 3-wheeler at the Energy Fair.

A semi-homebrew electric 3-wheeler at the Energy Fair.

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