• Feb 25th 2011 at 9:53AM
  • 5
KOR EcoLogic Urbee Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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:
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.
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.

Photos by Zach Bowman / Copyright ©2010 AOL

[Source: USA Today]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Rear steering? That won't go over well.

      The best configuration for a trike is f̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶w̶h̶e̶e̶l̶s̶ two front wheels that steer and one rear drive wheel. That uses conventional steering and eliminates the need for a differential. But steering the rear wheel would be unfamiliar to drivers, and powering the front wheels requires extra chains and/or drive shafts.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Oh come on, we all want to see awesome powerslide / spins when that rear-steering trike hits the road...

        But yeah, 4 wheels would be the way to go.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Absolutely. Rear wheel steering is inherently unstable, and should not be used in anything that moves even remotely fast.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I completely agree about the rear wheel steering. It's a truly dreadful idea for anything that drives faster than a fork-lift.

        When driving around a corner, the lateral acceleration of the rear of the vehicle (and the needed traction of the rear wheel) will abruptly increase when the wheel is straightened out.
        At least that's my experience from driving forklifts and boats.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Another failure in the making.

      Why is it always the people/companies who are super hardcore about efficiency always end up going waaaaaaayyyy too far out into left field, and their work ends up self defeating?

      IMHO everyone should take the insight hybrid as a good example of a liveable yet amazingly efficient car. What's wrong with a little kammback hatch? .. you might actually sell a car.. is that it? :)
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