XR3 Motors Trike

XR3 Motors Trike

It is hard to figure out whether you really can consider three-wheel vehicles like the 2009 Campagna T-Rex or the XR3 Motors hybrid Trike (recently reported on by AllCarsElectric.com) are really small cars or large motorcycles. In my opinion, if it has a steering wheel, pedals, seat belts and functions mostly like a car, then I can consider it as one. Sort of the “if it walks like a duck” mentality. Either way, these three wheel vehicles are proving to provide some remarkable returns in the fuel consumption department, especially the XR3 Motors three-wheel diesel hybrid trike.

The sixty-four thousand dollar question is: Does it really achieve 225 mpg? In short, yes the 225 mpg rating is the combined mileage if you cover half the distance on electric power and the other half on the diesel motor. You can read the full explanation over at our partner site AllCarsElectric.com, but the synopsis is that this is a prototype vehicle that uses an all-wheel-drive, ground-connection parallel hybrid. In layman terms, that means there is no mechanical transmission between the two power systems. Instead, the XR3 relies on the ground to provide the connection. They idea behind this was to remove the need for costly computer controls and transmissions that are common in the modern hybrid. In effect, this would reduce cost and hopefully increase reliability.

From the pictures you can see that this is a reverse from the traditional motorcycle version. It has two front wheels and a single wheel in the back. This is similar to the redesigned Lightning Hybrids LH3 three-wheel diesel hydraulic hybrid and the LH4 four-wheel version. The XR3 is supposed to seat two passengers side-by-side, weight about 1480 lbs and until it goes into production you can build one yourself by purchasing the plans from the designer’s website. As for the vehicle going into production, that is a little bit of a stretch according to Edmunds.com. They say that the prototype is heading to "one of Ohio's top automotive research universities, where powertrain analysis and optimization will be carried out."  

Bottom line—People are interested in new and creative ways of using current and future technology to obtain what was once considered to be unrealistic fuel economy. The XR3 is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, you could go by an Aptera today starting at $25K and get a similar vehicle with similar fuel consumption.


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