At last year's SEMA Show, KOR EcoLogic displayed its ethanol-fueled Urbee plug-in hybrid three-wheeler. The two-passenger vehicle features Stratasys' 3D-printed body panels that are carved from plastic and a powertrain that functions, according to Jim Kor, founder of Winnipeg-based Kor Product Design, like this:
With seven lead-acid batteries, an electric motor spinning the front wheels, a range-extending ethanol-fueled engine and rear-wheel steering, the Urbee is one of the most unconventional vehicles we've encountered. Usually, these sorts of cars make their debut on the show floor, then disappear. Not the Urbee. Thus, we were slightly shocked to read a report in USA Today that an Urbee test fleet is expected to hit the roads in April, with full production scheduled for sometime in 2014. Yeah, we didn't see that coming, either.It is a pure electric in city traffic, runs on purely the internal combustion (IC) engine on the highway, and can use its IC engine to charge on-board batteries in emergencies and for range-extension.