Yamaha Motor Develops Kick Scooter-like 3-wheeled EV

Yamaha Motor Co Ltd is accelerating the development of three-wheeled vehicles. It released multiple three-wheeled vehicles developed based on two-wheeled vehicles and newly-developed a kick scooter-type three-wheeled electric vehicle (EV).

The new vehicle, “Tritown,” is a standing-ride type having two front wheels and one rear wheel.

Yamaha Motor applied the “leaning multi-wheel (LMW) mechanism,” which the company started to employ for its three-wheeled vehicles, to the Tritown. It is a technology to make a turn while leaning inside (in the turning direction) and can realize a turning performance close to that of two-wheeled vehicles for a three-wheeled vehicle.

The LMW mechanism has already been employed for the “Tricity” 125cc and 155cc gasoline scooters and the “Niken” 845cc gasoline two-wheeled vehicle, which Yamaha Motor released in the market.

For example, the LMW mechanism of the Tricity consists of “parallelogram links” and “cantilever telescopic suspensions.” There are two links arranged in parallel with each other. The center of each link is fixed to an auto body so that they form a rectangular shape when the vehicle is turning.

With this mechanism, the parallelogram links move the right and left suspensions to different positions when the vehicle is turning. The right and left front wheels move in opposite directions (up and down) while being in parallel with each other. The vehicle leans its right and left front wheels in a direction in which the driver moves the handle.

The rear wheel of the newly-developed Tritown three-wheeled EV is equipped with an in-wheel motor (IWM). The output of the motor is 500W. It is a general-use motor for small vehicles and is available in the market.

The battery pack for driving the Tritown is a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery with a capacity of 380Wh. It was made by using a 48V system, for which the safety standards can be relatively easily met, and the system realizes a high output. The battery pack is detachable and stored in the body of the EV. The rider places his/her legs as if the driver straddles the battery pack.

When the battery is charged for about two hours, the Tritown can travel about 30km (approx 18.6 miles). Its maximum speed is 25km/h (approx 15.5mph). Because it does not run on public roads, it does not require a driver’s license. The mass of the EV is about 40kg. It measures 1,140 (L) x 620 (W) x 1,140mm (H).

The Tritown has a linear handle like the handles of motorbikes and bicycles. It travels while using both turning by the handle and weight shift by the LMW mechanism. The vehicle is turned by the handle at the time of traveling at a low speed equivalent to walking speed and mainly by weight shift at the time of traveling at a speed higher than 10km/h.

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