• May 7th 2008 at 12:54PM
  • 7
Recently we broke a story about a new electric "highway capable" three-wheeled car being prepared for the American market called the Triac. We promised to keep you posted and now that some interesting new details have emerged, behold the posting.
Apparently, many of you out there contacted Green Vehicles to seek out more information about the Triac for yourselves. It seems they might have been a little overwhelmed and it took a few days before a response was sent out en masse. The missive contained lots of interesting information which I will now share with you.

First of all, there were a couple of items from the video that were corrected. In the clip it states that the top speed of the vehicle is 70 mph. This is wrong. Green Vehicles is claiming that it can actually reach 80 mph. That's a speed that can come in handy when you're passing on the highway. The other metric to undergo revision was the range. This was lowered from 120 to 100 miles with the further explanation that the original figure was achieved at a relatively slow speed and that the new result was returned from a speed of 45 mph. Other Triac facts we learned were about the drivetrain. It will have a 5-speed transmission (we're guessing manual) matched to a 20kW AC motor with "one of the world's most sophisticated battery maintenance systems" to help you get the most out of your lithium ion battery pack. It's onboard charger will allow you to plug it in to either a 120V or 240V outlet. Now, what was that about a truck? Hit the jump for more news.

Also discussed in the e-mail was the news the the Triac would be joined in the Green Vehicles stable by an electric truck called the Buckshot. Using the same motor with a three speed transmission, it is being touted as a "true work truck" and should have the necessary torque, durability and payload capacity that would entail. There will be different options available such as a lockable cargo shell or a steel lumber rack. It is differentiated from the NEVs that Green Vehicles will offer later this year so we are assuming it may be capable of decent speed though we haven't heard any numbers yet. Also, we are assuming it will be a three-wheeler possibly in the reverse configuration of the Triac. We'll tell you more as soon as it is revealed to us. For now you can see a couple larger views of the Triac in the gallery below. Scroll down a little farther to read the e-mail as it arrived to us and watch the video again.

Friends of Green Vehicles, We have received an incredible number of inquiries over the past week as a result of our YouTube video postings. So first, thank you for your interest in EVs and in Green Vehicles. We have been hard at work developing vehicles (and, as one recent web siteput it, we have been doing so in "stealth mode") that will outperform your expectations without asking you to pay an unreachable premium. Our purpose for developing in such a fashion was to avoid making promises and predictions before knowing they can be kept.

So now that you know we exist, we'd like to tell you who we are. Our full website will be posted this in a matter of days; this will be a good place to begin. Please check it out. We are a Northern California based company that will begin selling two best-in-class Lithium-Ion powered pure electric vehicles early this summer. The TRIAC is a 5-speed freeway drivable 3-wheeler with a powerful 20kW AC motor capable of 80MPH (note the correction from video). On a single charge, at a speed of 45MPH, you can drive for 100 miles (we feel this is a more reasonable predictor of range than lower speed tests that led to 120 miles, as shown on the video- update forthcoming).

The BUCKSHOT (no footage posted yet) is a 3-speed Lithium-Ion powered truck also with a 20kW AC motor. This is a true work truck, with close attention paid to payload capacity, torque, and durability. For deliveries, the BUCKSHOT can come with a lockable cargo shell; for construction, a steel lumber rack; and for all-purpose functionality, a steel body with an extra-long bed and an ample passenger cabin. Environmentally conscious universities, businesses, and municipalities should take note of the BUCKSHOT; there is nothing like it!

Both vehicles come standard with one of the world's most sophisticated battery maintenance systems to ensure that you get the full potential out of each high quality Lithium-Ion battery. Additionally, each EV has an onboard charger that can be plugged into 120V or 240V outlets, giving owners the option for faster charging without giving up the convenience of being able to plug in anywhere.

Green Vehicles' two NEVs, the Microwatt and the Moose are still underdevelopment; our hope is to bring them to market this fall. In the neighborhood electric vehicle market, there is a delicate balance between affordability and quality; we are happy only when we can offer both. If your question is not addressed by the complete website or by this email, please accept our apology and send us a follow-up email atinfo@greenvehicles.com.

Best regards,
Green Vehicles

[Source: Green Vehicles]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      I've asked questions similar to yours in the past - and haven't seen decent answers. Personally, a three-wheeled EV would meet my commute needs rather well. I'd be willing to take a motorcycle riding test on a two-wheeler - but I don't own one, which would complicate things. But you're right: Many people would find that hurdle too large to overcome.

      Another item: If I have an enclosed 3-wheeler with seat belts, do I still have to wear a helmet in states with a helmet law?

      In case you didn't see it, here's a related discussion on 3 wheeled vehicles and legal issues:

      • 8 Months Ago
      @Phil L.

      You don't need your own motorcycle to get a motorcycle license. The easiest way to pass is to take the MSF Safety Course. They'll walk you through everything you need to know for the written, and you'll learn to actually ride on their motorcycles (huge bonus over dropping your own while learning). You pass the skill test with their instructors, who hand you a slip that you give to the DMV. Your certificate of completion exempts you from the skill test at the DMV.

      This makes a motorcycle license a $~250 affair in most states with a two weekend time investment. You will, however, need suitable gloves and boots, or they won't let you on the course.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This is being manufactured in my backyard. The local paper just published an article on it today:


      I won't consider buying it for $25k, unless that is the price BEFORE federal and state credits.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Regarding helmets (in California), see sec f
      and this is a bummer
      but apparently another trike builder, Venture One, are lobbying to change this law. Currently, in order to drive a 3 wheeler in the HOV lane it's width must be < 48", in which case it's an ordinary motorcycle in the eyes of the law. However, since it would fall out of the vc 27803 definition, you would have to wear a helmet. Also, unless someone can find the appropriate CA DMV section proving otherwise, I believe you would also need a class M1 (motorcycle) license, regardless if the vehicle meets the 27803 definition or not.

      RE Green Vehicles.

      They are claiming the Triac uses a 160 AHr, 144V li-ion battery pack. That works out to about 23KWHr. At $20k for the whole car, that equates to
      • 8 Months Ago
      And, the rest of the story:

      "...that equates to < %1.00 WHr for the lithium batteries, a screaming bargain by any measure. Also, their specs list a 5 speed transmission, unusual for an ev with torque at stall (though the ultra high performance Tesla will have a 2 speed trans, eventually).

      Some clarifications Mr Youssef? Are these really available now?

      • 8 Months Ago
      Does anyone know if every state in the US requires a "motorcycle license" to drive these three wheeled vehicles? I've read that most states are registering/classifying these as motorcycles (and thus the manufacturer bypasses 4 wheel vehicle crash test and restraint regulations). In my state (and the others surrounding it) you have to have to take a written test and driving test to be licensed to drive motorcycles. For the driving test, you have to do it on 2 wheel motorcycle with no prop or assistance.

      I can't see a large number of the general public passing the motorcycle driving test just so they can cruise around in these 3 wheelers. I'm guessing that if states make a new classification for three wheel vehicles, you'll quickly see the implementation of crash and restraint system regulation that will certainly put a damper on many of these type vehicles.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Ah! But does it have two front mounted machine guns like the Messerschmidt. Oh, I forgot that was the ME109 not the two-cycle engined cockpit canopy of the three wheeler of the same name back in 1955.

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