Lane splitting allows motorcycles to avoid the worst traffic jams, but riding exposed to the elements is not for everyone. Polish firm Triggo claims to offer a best-of-both-worlds solution—an electric vehicle with an enclosed cabin that handles like a motorcycle.
The two-seat EV is ostensibly a three-wheeler, but the front wheels can retract, allowing the vehicle to lean into corners like a motorcycle, and making it narrow enough to split lanes. This wouldn't be the first tiny car to lean into corners, but it would be the first with this adjustable front-track width arrangement—at least adjustable on the fly in such a way.
At low speeds (up to 15.5 mph), the vehicle has a maximum width of 33.8 inches, as well as an 11.4-foot turning radius, according to Triggo. At higher speeds (top speed is listed as 56 mph), the vehicle widens its stance to 58.2 inches.
Triggo hopes to use its self-proclaimed "traffic ninja" for a future car-sharing service. To ensure adequate coverage in urban areas, vehicles will be collected and redistributed by connecting them into trains, with a driver in the lead vehicle only, the company said, somewhat like a larger-scale version of the way supermarkets collect wayward shopping carts.
A drive-by-wire control system will lay the foundation for future autonomous driving, Triggo claims. The company said it is also looking to use its vehicles in delivery services. The combination of car-sharing, autonomous driving, and delivery services, has been discussed by many transportation-related startups, but a practical business model has remained elusive.
As a standalone vehicle, the Triggo EV looks like it might be in the same category as the Renault Twizy, a tiny, minimalist electric car designed for urban use. Green Car Reports drove the Twizy when it was brought to the United States as the Nissan Scoot Quad for a San Francisco car-sharing service (and restricted to to 25 mph to get around U.S. regulations).
Triggo hasn't discussed plans for U.S. imports, but would likely have to classify its vehicle as a motorcycle to get around regulations, as other companies have done with three-wheelers—and to lane-split in California. That would be some modification, as the Triggo has four wheels.
Regardless, the Triggo EV might earn a spot on our next roundup of most bizarre green cars—even though the idea makes a lot of sense.