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Old 10-31-2017, 07:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Three-wheeler with 2 seats and 1m width

The last few years, there's been much interest in reducing road congestion, ie by using "narrow track vehicles" (vehicles that have a width of 1m or less or thus about 1/2 of a regular car). Examples are Commuter Cars Tango, Narrow Car Company Naro, ... The idea here is that by using such vehicles, we can fit 2x more cars on a road, hence doubling capacity of the road, reducing congestion. Most 4-seater cars only seat 1 person on most trips, so capacity isn't a problem.

The question I had was: which 3-wheelers with a width of <1m and which seat 2 people exist on the (European) market today, and which of these still have a decent price (let's say 5000 euro max) ? The car needs to be road-legal and have a shell.

There's the Elio Motors 3-wheeler but this seems too wide, and too costly.
The Carver is no longer sold commercially (and was also too expensive).
There's the Organic Transit ELF, but it too seems too wide/costly.
Some velomobiles may seat 2 people but most are too costly and I prefer longer range (so use of an internal combustion engine). Same goes for the Raht Racer and the Drymer business.
There's the CLEVER, but it isn't commercially available.
Best thing I could come up with is an auto rickshaw (tuktuk), though most seem to be a bit too wide, and I also don't know whether they're sold here in Europe. They also have some cargo capacity.


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Old 10-31-2017, 09:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Simple answer is there aren’t any.

Complicated answer is that a lot of Chinese trikes fit that ticket, some are ev some are not but whether they are street legal by you who knows?

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Old 10-31-2017, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"Reducing congestion" BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Breeders take any reduction in the Discomfort Scale as a sign to proceed to fill it up again, and then some.
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Old 10-31-2017, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the Smart car is the closest answer to this question.

Half-width size cars wouldn't necessarily help unless you re-engineer the roads so that only half-width cars can use them.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Also, it's not just the size of the vehicle that needs to be taken into account, but the separation between them.

The real solution to such congestion problems is to simply let them become self-limiting, so that people either move elsewhere, time-shift* their travel, or telecommute.

*For instance, when I go to visit friends and have to pass through the urban area that lies between, the freeway is invariably congested - often bumper to bumper - southbound in the morning while I'm going northbound at full speed, and vice versa when I return in the evening.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
"Reducing congestion" BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Breeders take any reduction in the Discomfort Scale as a sign to proceed to fill it up again, and then some.
Maybe that should read "Reducing constipation" for their thought processes (if any)?
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Come on, guys!
It ain't that hard, it ain't.



This will combat congestion, if not in traffic then at least in the bowels...
This will also solve the problem of people wanting a two-seater trike really quickly.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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All I can think of right now is the Piaggio MP3, but good luck trying to put an enclosure on it.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markweatherill View Post
I think the Smart car is the closest answer to this question.
The smart fortwo is 1,6m wide, so not suitable. The Renault Twizy is better then, but this too doesn't match my criteria fully as it's too costly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Also, it's not just the size of the vehicle that needs to be taken into account, but the separation between them.
True, but if there aren't 1m wide cars, the road separations are never going to be changed (you need the narrow cars first). I'm thinking that in cities for instance, implementing this change could happen quickly, especially on streets that were very narrow already (1-way streets or 2-way streets were cars can barely pass).

Another thought is the use of a velomobile, but then on a bicycle lane. Are velomobiles allowed to use these and what are the requirements for them to allow them to use these lanes ? I guess that 2-seaters will be out of the question here, Also, given the limited range, this vehicle shouldn't be (much) more costly than a regular bike. Short distances are done with it, so (hybrid) electric propulsion is only needed as an option (plain pedaling will do for most). Covering is essential though, but carbon fiber shielding will be too expensive, so I was thinking on whether there are any plastic coverings for regular and recumbent bikes available (generic ones, so not intented for a particular brand). These coverings are called "partial fairings" (wind screens) and "full fairings" (cover the entire bike), bimini tops are just top shieldings. Tailboxes also exist but don't shield the rider, rather they just improve aerodynamics. I found some more examples of fairings but perhaps you guys know some commercial suppliers:
*
* George's Cooper recumbent bicycle front shield/top

* Hase's partial covering for recumbent bicycles
* Zziper fairings
* Veltop fairings
* Lightning F-40 fairing
People doing slightly longer distances may best use a recumbent bicycle as they are 3,5x more efficient, however people in cities that already own a regular bike probably best just add a full fairing. If you need a recumbent bicycle, buying a kit may reduce the cost (see here).
There are also plans (see here,here, and here, and here).
The xyzcargo design seems the easiest since it uses plain metal beams (rather than custom-designed frames).

Last edited by smallscaleH2; 11-04-2017 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
Come on, guys!
It ain't that hard, it ain't.



This will combat congestion, if not in traffic then at least in the bowels...
This will also solve the problem of people wanting a two-seater trike really quickly.
I don't think the ride would be quite as bad as you think. IIRC this was made to ride down railroad tracks.

But in answer to the topic:
The Tango works because it has four wheels and serious balast in the floorboards. Very narrow trikes are unstable. Not. Stable.

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