Cree Ltd. SAM electric three-wheeler: not bad, not too expensive
There is a new all electric three-wheeler in Switzerland known as the SAM, produced by Cree Ltd. Featuring a power pack made up of six individual batteries which produces 168 volts, the 15kW motor, which also produces 80Nm of torque, is capable of propelling the SAM to speeds of up to 85 kilometers per hour (about 53 mph). Acceleration is fairly leisurely, but that's not really the point with this particular machine, is it? The range is not stellar, just 60 kilometers, or 37 miles. The price, though, would make this an extremely attractive machine to many: just $10,000.
In terms of design, SAM looks pretty good, with its aluminum backbone chassis and independent front suspension with a transverse leaf spring -- like the Corvette. The weight comes in at 695 kilograms, or about 1,500 pounds. Safety measures include three-point seatbelts along with an integrated roll bar. This is exactly the type of vehicle we'd love to see come to the U.S. as a replacement for the ZAP Xebra, which proved that there is in fact a market in the states for alternative transportation such as this.
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