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Clever: Three-wheeler Eco-mini-car
Alex Steffen, 25 Apr 06

Move over G-wiz: researchers at the University of Bath have demo'd the Clever, a three-wheeled mini-car they essentially say could prove the ideal transition vehicle for bright green cities:

The prototype Clever (Compact Low Emission Vehicle for Urban Transport) car is one metre wide and less polluting than normal vehicles. It has a top speed of 100 km/h (60mph) and uses a novel tilting chassis to make it safe and manoeuvrable. The traffic-busting two-seater is the result of a 40-month project by researchers in nine European countries.

(Thanks, Christian!)

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It tilts to offset the inherent trike instability, still some would argue that in the interests of lower cost, they got the wheels backwards. In other words, the trike should have independent, front wheel drive on two front wheels. The single rear wheel provides stability, weight distribution and braking, basically a motorcycle front wheel on the rear using a swing arm and heavy-duty, motorcycle suspension.

As Japanese designers have discovered, you increase usable space in the cabin by application of in-wheel electric motors. They comprise the front wheel drive. The entire cabin bottom is a battery compartment.

Basically, a remake of the NEVCO Gizmo with an updated electric drive. Cool, if young and limber.

Posted by: jcwinnie on 25 Apr 06

Yet another amazing vehicle that will never see mass-manufacturing... and if it does, it'll never be available in the US because the great car companies don't see a large-enough market.

Pity. I think it's cute.

Posted by: Adam Brown on 25 Apr 06

The fundamental problem is most people cant get into or out of such a thingy.

Posted by: wintermane on 25 Apr 06

The "clever"concept should create lots of interest,particularly amongst motorcyclist due to the perfect wheather protection!--Compressed NG to give arange of 200km? -fantastic idea! I can see great potential in the whole project as long as it will have a reasonable price.

Posted by: Joachim Gottschalk on 28 Apr 06

It is a clever design, no doubt. However, is there much need for cars this tiny, unable to transport anything more than its passengers, and probably only to be used in urban settings? You could argue that in those circumstances, a car is not necessary at all. Wouldn't we be better off a) supporting non-automotive forms of commuting and better urban public transit, and b) developing more resonable vehicles for uses outside the city?

Posted by: Simon Donner on 28 Apr 06

Ill always remember my professor/frend showing off his wondercar and saying I should get one.. I pointed out ather smartly that there was a tiny flaw.. my butt was wider then his car.

Posted by: wintermane on 29 Apr 06



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