Founder of ENVO Drive Systems, Ali Kazemkhani provides an insightful update on the latest innovative street-velomobile prototype.
There is no denying that Canadians thoroughly enjoy bicycling all year round, not only to reduce their carbon footprint but also as a form of leisure and exercise. However, as most Canadians witness, Canadian weather across the nation at most times is unpredictable, cold, and wet for more than half the time. For the last year and a half, creator and cycling enthusiast Ali has worked tirelessly to design a legal street tricycle that is durable and lightweight and compatible with all types of Canadian weather after realizing there has been a gap in the market years.
Previous Velomobile Attempts
Most notably, and widespread are the Elf by Organic Transit was founded in 2016. While the weather-protected electric tricycle was popular amongst a select few, the business recently filed for bankruptcy back in 2018. While Organic Transit made no official statements, the manufacturer suggested the retail price of $9,500 USD was considerably high compared to the quality of the actual product. Thus, ending the availability of such products on the market for consumers until now.
The ENVO Velomobile Investigation
Before deciding to invest in their prototype, the team behind ENVO Drive Systems diligently investigated why this class of mobility is not supported by mature products, or products available for consumers to buy. They found various reasons, including:
- The product itself is too niche to appeal to a larger local consumer population for any startup business.
- The transportable cost from city to city was too high concerning the size and weight of the trike.
- As the transportable was too high, this directly affected the services, returns, exchanges, or repair efficiency of the product back to the manufacturer.
- As a human powered vehicle, the weight/desirability of the product has always been an issue.
- Noise, rattle, safety, weather protection, visibility, comfort, and street-legality have been other key design factors that have not been addressed yet in any suggested product.
How ENVO is Doing Things Differently
Considering these transportable challenges, Ali Kazemkhani, the founder and CEO behind ENVO Drive Systems, implemented the following factors into his design:
- The bike itself needs to be as lightweight as possible to ensure that it can ride with only human power.
- The bike needed to be as far from bulky as possible to ensure that it was transportable and compact to be able to sell and ship globally.
- The frame of the bike is durable, safe, light, would not rattle, and is quiet while in motion.
- The bike needs to protect the operator from all-weather types, including freezing temperatures, rain, or snow.
- The overall stability of a three-wheeled bike is street legal. It does not require a driver’s license or insurance to operate.
There are two types of configurations for tricycles:
- The conventional tricycle has one wheel on the front and two in the back.
- The non-conventional tricycle has two wheels on the front and one in the back.
The North American laws for legal street vehicles states that you c500W maximum assisted power and not having more than 3 wheels touching the ground at all times. As such, ENVO Drive Systems has determined that the non-conventional tricycle configuration offers more stability when it comes to steering and high speeds than the conventional design can provide.
The Electric Option
ENVO also understands that while a human-powered tricycle may appeal to many, they have also imagined the development of conversion kits that allow the consumer to convert their bike into an electric tricycle depending on their unique requirements for the bike itself.
The Enclosure Idea
ENVO has an innovative idea for the enclosure of the bike and wants to split the overall project into two steps:
- Creating a platform such as a chassis design.
- How to enclose the bike properly.
The Big Question Is it possible o enclose the trike? While still being:
- Electric tricycle conversion system included
- Folded down into a box that is easy to ship
ENVO is looking at the following combination of construction materials to manufacture the tricycle:
- Fiber epoxy
- Weather-resistant fabrics
ENVO also recognizes other design challenges, including:
- How individuals will comfortably get on and off the bike
- How they would safely operate the bike while still being fully contained within the enclosure in case of any accidents.
- The overall degree of visibility from the front and the surroundings of the vehicle
- How to make it foldable and compact
If you find yourself intrigued by the challenges ENVO has brought-forth and feel you may have a solution, the team is open to hearing your suggestions and willing to work with you. For more information on how you can send in your requests to ENVO, please visit the Contact Us page for more details.